Upon The Sun
There are so many ways
To sit out in the sun.
You could paint your toes
And stretch your legs
Until the sun reflects off them.
Or you could lie upon your back
Upon a lighted sward of grass
And hold a book
Up to the fire of the sun.
Or you could turn the other way
And rest your stomach on the ground
And feel the sunlit blades of grass
Grow damp beneath the favour of your skin.
And then, of course, you could
Spread leopard-like out on a branch
And lick the air with a sleepy tongue.
But perhaps best of all would be
To sit wild-eyed upon some timeless tree
And dream of gliding like a cloud
(Growing gradually thick and proud)
Before swooping down like rain upon
A dusty and a thirsting earth.
I’ve been thinking quite a lot recently about the sun – and particularly about my lack of exposure to it. Ever since I began working some three years ago inside an air-conditioned office (and certainly over the last four months since I moved on from a steady job), I’ve had to make an effort to get out and feel the sun upon me; its light, its warmth, its vivifying qualities.
I didn’t think like this about the sun when I was young. The sun was there and so was I, underneath it most of the day. Playing in the sun was an everyday affair; sunbathing by the swimming pool before going back into the (deliciously cool) water was the luxury of summer-holiday afternoons; and looking for every last ray of the setting sun’s light was the adventure of countless football-evenings. I did not stretch then towards the sun, it was the sun that magnanimously embraced me.
To dramatize a simple truth: we are all of us only as young as the sunlight we know. I look forward with renewed enthusiasm to exploring the sun – in ways both mentioned in the poem and otherwise.