(Toledo, OH) I cannot remember the last time in which this area had a solid day with clear skies, so it must have been well before Christmas.
The forecast for the next seven days calls for rain, snow, and overcast skies, and we may not see any significant sunshine until next week.
A George Harrison line comes to mind from the song "Here Comes The Sun":
It seems like years since it's been clear...The sun not only brings warmth, but seems to connect with a primordial part of us even beyond the chemical connections associated with seasonally affective disorder (SAD). Sun imagery is among the oldest recorded artistic activity, and the sun's power made it the focus of worship in many ancient religious traditions.
Left: Aztec god Huitzilopochtli, courtesy of Museo del Templo Mayor website
The Aztec sun god (who also doubled as the god of war) was Huitzilopochtli, and he was believed to be in a continuous battle with darkness. From an account in the Florentine Codex (a European translation of Nahuatl texts), Huitzilopochtli was so bright that warrior souls approaching him had to use their battle shields to protect their eyes, lest they become blinded.
For the Egyptians the sun played an important role in the development of a number of deities. Ra was the sun-god of Heliopolis in ancient Egypt, and translated as "mouth" in the Egyptian language. Ra was believed to have created speech (hence the anatomical connection).
Left: The Egyptian sun-god Ra, from Art and Archaeology website
After the fifth Egyptian dynasty Ra had been elevated to the principal deity, and later merged with other gods to become Amun-Ra.
In order to travel through the underworld every night, so that he might rise in the morning, Ra used a boat to avoid being extinguished by the seas.
In the Judeo-Christian tradition the sun is also prominent. Genesis describes a creation process in which the birth of the sun played an important role:
And God said, Let there be light: and there was light.But for residents of Northwest Ohio, the wait continues. The light God gave us remains obscured from direct view, and it indeed seems like years since it's been clear.
And God saw the light, that it was good: and God divided the light from the darkness.