Ooh, What A Little Sunlight Can Do! - Stephanie Renee
Apr 13, 2014

Warm weather awakens the soul in so many necessary ways

"The sun is shining, there's plenty of light..."

Saaaaaaang it, Luther! According to the meteorologists who keep track of such things, this past weekend of 70+ degree temps is the first time we've had 2 days in a row of such weather since waaaaaay back in early October of last year. A full six months. Boy, does it feel good to officially thaw out and get out!

I, for one, took full advantage of the sun and the heat. I dusted off my camera and strolled a few blocks away to the park to take pictures. This is something that I used to do regularly. My grandfather was a professional photographer at one point in his life, and took all of my infant pics, for which many people pay good money to other professionals. My uncle Maurice Sorrell was a White House photographer and a staff photographer for Johnson Publications, with his work appearing in JET and Ebony Magazines for decades. So I get it honestly, but I am no fan of stomping around in the snow and cold trying to get some good shots on a humbug. I also spent a few hours sitting on my porch, listening to music and reading a magazine. Reading a magazine...in the sunshine! Whether the issue has been time or weather, something as simple as stillness, media absorption and sunshine have not come together in my life in I-don't-know-how-long.

I am beginning to understand how debilitating it is to have every minute of every day planned out and filled up. Brilliance and creativity require a little elbow room in the brain. It's like completing a connect-the-dots puzzle. If you are too focused on following the numbers and drawing lines, you are incapable of noticing what a nice image the final result can be. I remember one afternoon in my childhood spent with my father, laying on the floor of the living room with my 64-color box of Crayolas. It was a giant coloring book, which meant Daddy could work on one side while I worked on the other. At some point, he paused from his coloring, rolled over on one elbow and asked me, "Why so much pressure, baby?" I was gripping my crayons like weapons, full fisted, and pleased with how dark and vibrant I could make the colors. When I looked over at my father's coloring, there was a wide variation in shading. He then showed me how you could use the same crayon and the same color, but get totally different effects, depending on how hard you apply pressure to the wax on the paper. That's a fitting metephor for life as well. If everything is full-fisted, head down, and grinding, it all looks and feels the same. The beauty is in the conscious decision to mix intensity with subtlety, and to appreciate the shades in between.

So, bring it on, Mother Nature! May the spring warmth stimulate more than just one weekend of artistic exploration and insight. I'm ready to be a vessel for more delightful twists and turns, questions and answers, and moments of quiet communion.

Here is last week's playlist: