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Solar Powered Humans

This weekend in Devon it has been warm and sunny coupled with still, frosty nights. I spent both days out in the garden, just pottering about, listening to the birds, putting mulch around the slowly unfurling plants to keep them warm and observing the wild creatures respond to the sunshine. One beauty catches my eye – the humble celandine, considered a weed by many gardeners, but welcome in mine. I love the way its flower heads open wide and track the trajectory of the sun, reminding me of a solar panel I once saw in Portugal that could swivel on a pully to optimise its exposure, and which I thought was quite the best invention ever.

It has been such a blessed relief to be able to get out and feel the warm sun on my face, as over the last couple of weeks, I’ve not felt too well – nothing serious, just a lack of energy and some low-level digestive irritations and headaches. And then I remembered that this time last year I also felt 'under the weather', a bit exhausted and lack-lustre. But sure enough, my diary confirmed that as soon as we had some sunshine, I felt re-charged, re-energised and re-ignited, as I do now. I think us human beings really are solar powered like the plant kingdom. Here in the Northern hemisphere, we need the sun’s healing rays more than we know and lack of sunshine can often create a feeling of dis-ease (as can too much). Some of us have just wilted a bit by the end of Winter and so some early Spring sunshine is such a tonic.

Indeed, herbalists will often recommend a tonic for this time of year, made from nettles, burdock or dandelion root and cleavers – some of the first wild plants in the northern hemisphere to brave the cold – so that we too can imbibe the rising energy that they embody. It’s like bottled sunshine.

It really is good to feel reinvigorated and re-energised - I just need to remember next February, that this seasonal lack of sunshine can sometimes deflate me, and trust that as solar energy increases, I too will begin to quicken and unfurl.

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