One day recently, as I walked into my office, I was greeted by small bouquet of yellow daisies. They were perched on the edge of my desk in the midst of post-it notes, calendars, legal pads and the rest of my work. And even though the sky was thick with brooding clouds, even though I woke up weary, I felt a rush of energy. I found myself smiling. In the easy, unassuming way of daisies, they reminded me of sunshine.
It is amazing the difference a little sunshine makes. During my winter studying in London, I desperately missed the sun. More than my family, more than Southern food, I missed the sun. I often found myself waking up each day, praying for sunshine. And if I caught the barest glimpse of the sun, I would immediately stop whatever I was doing to go outside and soak up as much as I could. Even with the most anemic showing, the sun always made me feel better.
There is, of course lots of science to explain this: the human brain responds to sunlight with increased serotonin (feel good hormone) production; the sun stimulates vitamin D production which affects everything from blood pressure to immunity. And even though the depletion of our atmosphere has increased our vulnerability to the sun's more dangerous waves, we are creatures of light.
As we approach the end of Epiphany, I am reminded that Jesus called his disciples to be the "light of the world." In effect, we are called to be the bearers of light, to shine in the darkness, to be the reminders that there is a light that darkness cannot overcome. In the times when sunlight is scarce, each of us can shine for one another and the world.
To the kind soul who left me these sunny reminders, thank you. Thank you for letting your light shine in my life. It is amazing the difference a little sunshine makes.