Spring’s Sunshine in the Darkness

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Jenny Crum, Editor

Spring arrives in complimentary colors of bright green. It arrives with the pollen blowing in the wind, whispering love songs to fertile pinecones. Spring arrives with cloudy blue skies and refreshing sunshine that lead the way for brushed pink skies in the evenings. Spring arrives with the peeping of frogs voicing soliloquies of love and reproduction in the damp night. Spring arrives in morning showers that turn into sunny afternoons; it arrives in mild temperatures that let you open the window and watch the curtains rise and  ripple in the breeze. Spring arrives, bursting through winter’s door, into our rolling hills of Northwest Georgia.

Georgia received a shocking amount of rain this February, with Fox 5 News in Atlanta reporting that February was the second wettest month in Georgia. For many of us, it seemed as if the rain would never end. It washed away hope, leaving despair and moderate depression for some.

And in lieu of the coronavirus that is ravaging our country, suddenly students of Cartersville High School are out of school for the remainder of the year. With the darkness that February was, it seemed like another bad omen.

But then, the sun came out. As if the weather saw the furrowed brows of a community in unease, spring exploded. And with it, smiles have emerged in this trying time.

In a study done by the Brigham Young University in 2016, it was found that the longer the sun is out during the day, the less mental distress people experience. This is due to the sun’s effect on the release of a hormone called serotonin, which is key for happiness. When the sun cues certain areas in your retina, it triggers the release of the happiness-inducing hormone.

Simply going outside and sitting on your porch and feeling spring around you will certainly do something to help boost anyone’s mood in this trying time and release the serotonin that you need. Although social distancing and staying 6 feet apart from others is critical during this time when we are trying to flatten the curve, going on walks is a good way to get sunshine and exercise after a day of online school. Getting exercise while staying at home can actually decrease your risk of contracting the virus, as some people who are especially at risk of contracting COVID-19 are those who have diabetes and high blood pressure.

Exercise is also important for our immune systems. A study done by a doctor through the National Institute of Health concluded: “Regular exercise can enhance vaccination response, increase T-cells and boost the function of the natural killer cells in the immune system. Exercise also lowers levels of the inflammatory cytokines that cause the ‘inflamm-ageing’ that is thought to play a role in conditions including cardiovascular disease; type 2 diabetes; Alzheimer’s disease; osteoporosis and some cancers.”

During the unexpected circumstances that have become the second semester for students at Cartersville High School, it is critical that we use this time to reflect upon the joy of being alive and to be grateful for having the ability to feel the sun dance across our face and feel the spring breeze create waves in our hair. Together, a positive attitude will take us far. Get outside, feel the sun, and take some deep breaths.

With the health benefits that spring has provided for us, keep your distance from others, but remember the feeling of the sun on your face can do a world of good in a world that is currently so uncertain.