Sunday, January 2, 2011

Breaking The First Commandment

“I am the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage. You shall have no other gods before Me.”

Winter in New England: Short days, cold temperatures, dry air, and a serious lack of exposure to the sun. It’s amazing to me how anyone could possibly enjoy it.  You see, I am a sun worshiper. No, I’m not a member of some whacko cult; I’m not really talking about religion here. What I mean is: I am acutely aware of how the lack of sunshine, heat, and humidity affects me physically, emotionally and even spiritually. It makes such clear and perfect sense to me that ancient civilizations would have looked heavenward and assumed that the sun was, in fact, God, that I know deep down that I involuntarily break the first commandment every day of my life.

The other day, for example, I was low on gas and, having taken note of the freezing cold forecast, decided to make the gas station my lunch break errand. At least, I thought, the temperature would be above the teens at noon, and I could bear the two or three minutes it would take to fill the tank without going into those horrible “shiver convulsions”  that cause my shoulders, back, and neck to ache. When I got out of the car and turned from the pump to remove the gas cap, I found myself facing the noon sun and realized that the clouds were parted enough for it to shine directly on me for the duration of the chore.

Being a shamelessly uninhibited person, I am sometimes aware that I do and say things in public that shock other people, and this was one of those moments. Without realizing it, I sighed in ecstasy “Oh, God… yes!” and dropped my head back, unzipping my coat as though I were letting a lover take me, to let it warm my face and neck and heat the fabric of my black sweater as I filled my gas tank. As the unmistakable caress of the sun’s rays warmed my skin and filled my soul with the sweet memories of … summer… trips to Kauai, St. Croix, The Bahamas, Florida… the sweet smell of suntan oil… the ability to walk out of the house in next to nothing… I sighed and may even have moaned aloud. To be completely honest, I was so lost that anything is possible.

When the pump shut off, snapping me to attention, I saw the look on the face of the man on the other side of the pump and realized he’d been watching me. He must have thought I was either insane, or “on something.” I just smiled at him and said hello. Poor man; he was obviously not as aware of the universe around him and the simple pleasures in life as we all should be.

In my last post, I talked about sensual experiences and how we all need to have them every single day. I’d have to say that spending time in the sun rounds out the top three sensual experiences in life, along with sex and food. The sun not only warms us, enhances our moods, assists us in producing vitamin D, and helps grow our crops, but it provides one of the most amazing sensations available to us. Each year, as I struggle through winter’s biting cold and depressing dark, I am more and more appreciative of the purely blissful sensation that only the sun can provide.

We are past the Winter Solstice now, and as each day gets progressively longer, though only in tiny increments, my mood elevates each day as I anticipate spring. As for the first commandment, and the second for that matter; George Carlin said they were pure bullshit and that I could ignore them, and since he’s one of my heroes, I have to take that into consideration. Really though, If God put us here and wanted us to worship Him alone, I find it hard to believe that WE are created in His image, when the sun is just so much more Godlike than any being I’ve ever seen. So, I will continue to worship it, and if I go to Hell for that, I’ll tell George you said hi.

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