Thursday, November 14, 2013

Does sunshine on your shoulder really make you happy?

It is the middle of November and I am still in short-sleeves and sandal mode.
28 degrees Celsius. Isn't that a little ridiculous for this time of year? Not that I am complaining... well, maybe just a little.

You see, there comes a point when sunshine may be just a tad too much.

"Too much?! My dear, you can never have too much," my Canadian friend tells me, her teeth chattering as she tightens the scarf around her neck and pulls the hood of her jacket down around her ears. "When was the last time you had to commute through snow, sleet and black ice?" she asks.
"Well, you know, I live in a desert."
"Then think about doing this seven months of the year," she adds, stamping on the ground in the attempt to feel her feet again.
"Yes, I understand," I answer, distracted for a moment as I ponder the plastic tie which is holding my sandals together. "But look at it another way. Think about seeing sunshine, only sunshine, day after day after day, seven months in a row."
It was then, in a desperate impulse to do me harm, that she picked up a lethal looking icicle, but luckily it snapped between her fingers.

The problem with Canadians is that they have trouble seeing the whole picture. Or seeing any more than five meters through the blizzard. Of course, Americans are no better. And even on a clear day, they have a problem seeing much further than the end of their nose. Imagine how John Denver would have made it through seven months of straight sunshine. What would he be singing about then?

As for Israelis, if sunshine comes bundled with happiness, why are Israelis such an irritated, loud, paranoid, aggressive and motley lot? Israelis get much more sunshine than Canadians and the whole Northern Hemisphere. You'd expect them to be filled with glee, with all that sunshine on their shoulder. Not only Israelis. Take a look at the whole Middle East. Where is the humour? Where are people sitting back, enjoying a good laugh over a bottle of Arak?

"Your problem is that you have never had much of a sunny disposition."
"Where did you come from?" I ask, looking up into the darkness.
"Just passing by. I didn't want to be rude and enter your thoughts, but..."
"When has that ever stopped you?"
"True, but where would you be without me?"
I decided to let this pass in silence.
"Have you ever considered that this may only be you?"
"Me? What?"
"This aversion to things of a sunny nature."
"It's  not a question of aversion. It is a question of what really inspires me."
"Like me."
"Well, yes. You are my muse, aren't you? Isn't that what muses are supposed to do?
"So, you want me to do the weather now?"
"Could you?"
"I don't do weather."

I am conflicted. I enjoy wearing only shorts, short-sleeves and sandals. And I couldn't comfortably do this if the sun hid itself away. But I would give this up to see the heavens open: the rain pounding down on the roof as the sound of thunder fills the skies. Maybe I should start a facebook group for people searching for the clouds behind the sunshine.

Living in constant sunshine reminds me of the movie Groundhog Day, where our hero wakes up each and every morning to the same day and must relive it again and again. But then, that had a happy ending.

"How long do you think you could weather such gloom?"
"I thought you went for an afternoon nap."
"Couldn't fall asleep. The sun is shining through the window."
"Are you making fun of me?"
"No, that would be too easy.


  1. After 23 years in Albany, NY and 26 in Israel- 24 in the Negev, I'll take the sun any day. I know we need the rain but I'd rather take that at night. By the way, according to surveys and my experience, Israelis are happier than Americans or Canadians.

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