Sunshine on My Shoulders

Sunshine on my shoulders makes me happy

Sunshine in my eyes can make me cry

Sunshine on the water looks so lovely

Sunshine almost always makes me high

I love this song by the late John Denver. So sweet yet melancholy. For some reason, it’s been stuck in my head these past few days. Possibly due to the sun hiding behind the clouds for so long.

I miss the sun when it’s hiding. The absence of light and warmth felt so strongly. And yet this phrase, sunshine on my shoulders, continues to invade my thoughts.

I began to think of it as an expression as opposed to the literal description. What other objects/experiences might take its place?

My first thought was a baby on my shoulder. An experience I’ve had many times with my own children and children of dear friends. Memories which definitely warm my heart.

Next, I thought about past teachers. Whether in elementary, high school, college, or a piano teacher-special ones who looked over my shoulder in support and encouragement. Always when I needed it most.

What about my parents and other family members? Those who were always looking out for my best interest. Perhaps certain ”over the shoulder” looks didn’t initially feel like sunshine. But in retrospect, provided light and growth.

So many little things. My husband sneaking up behind me in the kitchen. My kids reaching over the couch for a hug. A call or text from a friend saying, ”Hi! How are you?”

Things I too often take for granted.

Viewing all these through the lens of sunshine brings a whole new appreciation. For just as the sun, they provide light, growth, and warmth-things we all need.

Especially on these days when the actual sun is hiding behind the clouds. ⛅

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