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  • Writer's pictureMarilyn Gardner Woods

No "Sunshine on my Shoulders"...

Vincent Van Gogh, who experienced many tumultuous seasons as he created his radically idiosyncratic, emotionally evocative art, ruminated, “If one pays attention, the coming of Spring is a kind of Gospel message.

For those of us in the West, we are used to experiencing spring-like weather conditions year-round and this onslaught of wintery wet-ish weather is wearing out its welcome. We long for Spring’s “Gospel message” proclaimed by Van Gogh. I am paying attention!

Winter is technically over when the vernal equinox occurs—the date when day and night are of equal length signaling warmer weather and more daylight hours ahead. That happened during my early lunchtime today. It’s still cloudy and drizzly.

In his 1883 letter to his brother, Theo, besides his warning to pay attention to the coming of Spring, Vincent also commented, “And it is pathetic to see so many grey, withered faces come out of doors on such a day, not to do something special, but as if to convince themselves that spring is here.”

I will take a walk in search of sunshine doing my best to convince myself that Spring is here. And if I must dodge raindrops, the change of seasons is still an occasion worth observing.

Sunflowers, 1888

I read once that Vincent—he of sunflower fame—spent hours painting outdoors, in wheat fields often not even wearing a hat. The sun eventually drove him crazy too but for some time it was simply a muse that helped him create some of his finest paintings.

Like The Sower at Sunset which features a dramatic setting sun bathing the entire sky in its golden rays creating an unearthly luminescence over the lone figure in the field.

Vincent loved the color yellow saying, “How lovely yellow is! It stands for the sun.”

I’m yearning for some of Vincent’s sunshine…


While I wait, I'll listen to my SUN Songs playlist...

Stevie Wonder "A Place in the Sun"

Willie Nelson "That Lucky Old Sun"

Gale Garnett "We'll Sing in the Sunshine"

The 5th Dimension "Let the Sunshine In"

Donovan "Sunshine Superman"

Elton John "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me"

John Denver "Sunshine on my Shoulder"

You're welcome!

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