Who Cares About the Sun or How I learned to Love the Sun.

Here comes the Sun, here comes the Sun —- The Beatles, 1969
And I say it’s all right

Image

I am somewhat perplexed and sad.  The moon, the stars and the planets all seem to get a great deal of attention but the Sun is neglected.  There are many more songs, poems and stories about the moon and stars but much fewer about the Sun.  Why the moon should take precedence over the Sun is beyond my understanding.  If the moon suddenly left orbit and when sailing off into space, I am sure many of us would be very sad.  I for one would undoubtedly miss the moon.  I enjoy those evenings when there is a harvest moon and it fills the sky with its bright orange and yellow colors.  I also enjoy the full moon and the many phases it goes through weekly to come back to full again.

However, if the Sun flew off its orbit, or left its position, since I think it does not orbit.  (Last I remember reading; most scientists had agreed that the earth rotated around the Sun and not vice versa.)  Although, I think there were some Republicans and Tea Party members who disputed this scientific observation claiming it was a ploy by the Democrats to raise taxes for Sun screen and Sun protection.  Anyway, if the Sun did leave us, it would mean the end of life on earth.  No Sun, no life. No Sun, no photosynthesis. No Sun, no heat. No Sun, no plants.  No Sun, no sunsets. No Sun, no sun rises.

Here comes the Sun, here comes the Sun
And I say it’s all right

I will refrain from boring you with facts about the Sun.  Let’s just summarize with the following “awesome” statistics.  It is very big.  It is very hot.  It is very far away.  On the negative side, it is not very big as stars go and it will eventually burn out.  If you are (like me) concerned with solar burn out, the following remarks describe the death of the Sun or how long it is expected to last.  This material is from:  http://www.universetoday.com/18847/life-of-the-Sun/

In about 6 billion years, the Sun’s core will run out of hydrogen. When this happens, the inert helium ash built up in the core will become unstable and collapse under its own weight. This will cause the core to heat up and get denser. The Sun will grow in size and enter the red giant phase of its evolution. The expanding Sun will consume the orbits of Mercury and Venus, and probably gobble up the Earth as well. Even if the Earth survives, the intense heat from the red Sun will scorch our planet and make it completely impossible for life to survive. 

When the Sun has blasted off its outer layers, all that will remain will be central core of carbon. But it’s no longer generating solar fusion, and so it will slowly cool down until it becomes the same temperature as the rest of the Universe; just a few degrees above absolute zero. This will take about a trillion years to happen. The Sun’s death will be complete.

 Please note that the Sun will outlast the earth.  According to Universe Today, the earth only has about six billion years left before the death of the Sun ends all life on earth. The Sun will then slowly decay for another 994 billion years before finally burning out completely.

If you have been taking the Sun for granted, you might want to rethink those nice days when you stayed inside or those days when the Sun was shining and you passed up the chance to go on a picnic or simply sit on the patio.  Six billion years might seem like a lot of sunshine but if you live in the Northern Hemisphere, particularly in Wisconsin or Minnesota, you can go for weeks without seeing the Sun.  It really comes down to a lot fewer days of sunshine than six billion.  And of course, as we get older, particularly the baby boomers, six billion could be an irrelevant number, given that our days of sunshine will be considerably more limited than is reflected in this statistic.

Sun, Sun, Sun, here it comes
Sun, Sun, Sun, here it comes
Sun, Sun, Sun, here it comes
Sun, Sun, Sun, here it comes
Sun, Sun, Sun, here it comes

I would like to issue a warning here: 

“Go outside at your own risk.  This blog is not meant to substitute for sound medical advice concerning your health or the risk of Sun spots or skin cancer.  Please see your physician before going out in the Sun or taking any unnecessary Sun risks.  The author of this blog rejects all claims for liability resulting from heat stroke, Sun exposure, or Sun burn.”

There, now I feel safe from any liability claims or medical malpractice claims.  I have not heard of anyone being sued because of loving the Sun, but I suppose there is always a first time.

I want to tell you a story about the Sun.  There are the famous ones which you all know. The Sun and The Wind story is probably the most famous.  My story is a little different.  It begins with a confession. I confess I love rainy days.  This might seem strange to many if not most people.  Certainly, my wife Karen thinks it is very strange.   How did I come across this love for the damp cold drizzly days where the Sun is nowhere to be seen?  This was not an easy question to answer.

A psychologist that I was seeing a number of years ago taught me a technique to “unlearn” some old hidden childhood messages.  Through a form of mediation, I was taught how to replay some mental tapes that I had assimilated in child hood.  We all assimilate different messages and these messages can continue to dictate our behaviors in later life.  Sometimes these behaviors are very counterproductive.

The results from this technique were to me somewhat astonishing.  Why would  anyone love cold rainy damp overcast days?  Here was my tape:  Father:  “Get your butt outside, it’s too nice to be indoors.”  Now imagine this tape played over and over again a thousand times.  Never once could I stay inside if the Sun was out.  I had to be doing, doing and doing.  Since, I loved reading above every other activity in life, my reading life was relegated to those cold miserable damp days when even my father relented and allowed me to remain in doors.  Thus, a hundred years later and I still feel like I must go outside and play on a nice Sunny day.  I don’t know what or who to play with, but play I must do.  I feel like the police in the Pirates of Penzance:

Father
Then do not stay.

John 
Tarantara!

Father 
Then why this delay?

John 
All right, I go.

Mother/Sisters 
Yes, forward out the door!
Yes, forward out the door!

Father
Yes, but you don’t go!

John
I go, I go

Mother/Sisters 
Yes, forward out the door!
Yes, forward out the door!

Father
Yes, but you don’t go!

John
I go, I go

Mother/Sisters
At last he goes!
At last he really goes!

Yes, I left and when he was not looking, I snuck down to the library to find a good book to read until the Sun finally went down and I could return home.

Here comes the Sun, here comes the Sun
And I say it’s all right
Here comes the Sun, here comes the Sun
It’s all right, it’s all right

Yes, now it is truly all right. I can stay in or go out. I can enjoy the Sun or enjoy the rain.  My affection for the Sun has grown over the years.  My appreciation of the limited amount of time that it has left to shine on and my limited time left to appreciate its shine has enabled me to embrace the Sun and truly appreciate its ups and downs. I only hope that my fellow baby boomers can welcome the Sunrises and Sunsets with the same eagerness and enjoyment that I now have for them.  I suppose it will be difficult in heaven to decide whether the weather is going to be Sunny or rainy.  I will be outnumbered if it comes to voting or majority rule.  Do you suppose there will be a heaven for people who love rainy damp dreary days?  If so, I will periodically pay a visit to all the other people in the Sunshine heaven.  I can now appreciate the joys of both.

Time for Questions:

When was the last time you watched a beautiful sunset or a sunrise?  How do you feel when you are watching such a beautiful experience?  How many more sunsets or sunrises do you think you will have time for in your life?  What if you could never see another sunset or sunrise?  How can you make more time to simply watch the sun rise and set?  Is your life too busy?

Life is just beginning.

 

13 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Jeanine
    Dec 30, 2013 @ 16:58:00

    I can surely relate to your love of rainy days. I remember so well being sent outside to weed on those sunny days. I really disliked those days, and I can remember mom calling me a hot house flower. I guess all things must come to an end, but after reading your blog, I must say I thought the sun would last forever. Looks like the end of the world will not be in our time!!
    Great blog. I also enjoyed reading your blog on Dec.19 about the true meaning of Christmas!!

    Reply

  2. johnpersico
    Dec 31, 2013 @ 15:30:18

    Thanks Jeanine, I thought my comments about the sun might also be some memories you shared.

    Reply

  3. Fred Broussard
    Jan 04, 2014 @ 13:59:06

    Thought provoking. Now I wonder how planets naturally decay and die. Do they heat up and burn or cool down and turn into ice?
    I need I google my question.
    Thanks, John..again.

    Reply

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