In the mornings, within a specific block of time and noticeably when the season is in transition during fall or spring, when the blinds covering the large east-facing patio windows that make up an entire wall of our living room are opened, in rushes glorious sunlight, flooding the entire space, spilling warm gold into our surroundings and our souls. As it playfully strikes off glass furniture and show-pieces and casts pretty shadows of tree branches outside on the patio doors, it leaves the mind illuminated and hopeful. These fresh moments last for a period of time that we fail to keep track of and then the rays retreat, diffusing from their dancing youth into serious middle-age while the day commences.
The tireless California sun shines and shines on Silicon Valley for almost three hundred days a year. It burns into some of the surrounding hills, turning them golden brown, it colors the tall firs and pines in mellow evening light and even in winter, it is always there, hand-in-hand with the cold. A typical scene that gladdens the heart: of the bluest of the blue sky against the pretty bushy heads and slender necks of California palms. Then there are evenings when there is more drama, thanks to the presence of mighty clouds, when the setting sun decides to put on a show before it is forced to retire, setting the sky ablaze with fiery pinks, oranges and reds. Not to forget also a few rainy days, when even the air seems to be washed clean by heavy downpour under a thick, dark blanket of gloom after which the reliable sun breaks through, planting kisses on everything in sight.
On a practical level, it is for physical, mental and spiritual health benefits that I practice ‘Surya Namaskar‘ (sun salutations), a simple form of Yoga a couple of mornings a week. As I bend and stretch my body to the rhythm of me, with folded hands, chanting the twelve mantras (chants) specific to each set of asanas (body positions), while concentrating on and regulating my breathing, I sometimes feel emotionally fortified as well – a humility towards and an immense gratitude for this brilliant, mighty source of light and for the sunshine in my life.