Playing in the Rain? Be Thankful Written By Charity Butler
“What?! How can it possibly be 10pm? The sun is still beaming through the apartment window. It looks like late afternoon out there. This is bizarre!” I said after my first night of experiencing Sweden’s long summer days.
I came to realize that getting sleep in Northern Europe can be a challenge in the summertime. During the summer months, the sun was setting around 11:30pm. The giant ball of fire then promptly rose again a little after 1am.
I awoke countless mornings in Sweden at ridiculously early hours thinking I had overslept. The noon-time scene outside my window was quite unusual at 4am.
In fact, during the summertime in much of Sweden the sun never actually sets. The country observes one of its most famous and widely celebrated holidays as a result of the never-ending sunlight: Midsummer.
The Swedes celebrate long days and the “warmth” of the season. Midsummer is a celebration of life, fertility and growth. The holiday holds many traditions that Swedes still practice today.
They eat pickled herring and potatoes and play some hilarious outdoor games. The women wear hand-fashioned headpieces made of fresh flowers and greenery. Then, the night usually includes some traditional Swedish singing and dancing as well.
Unfortunately, due to a quick trip back to the US, I missed the all-night daylight party. My teammates filled me in on the festivities, though. From the pictures, I can say with confidence they all thoroughly enjoyed themselves.
As winter months approach, the days become shorter and shorter. During the middle of winter, the sun will not shine at all in some Swedish cities.
I cannot imagine darkness all night and all day. It sounds depressing.
As a summer visitor, I experienced the excitement, light and warmth of Sweden. At the end of the season, I left before the cold, dark winter made its way across the country. The situation seems a little unfair, actually.
My Swedish friends know exactly what it is like to experience days upon days of night. As a result, they appreciate good weather much more than we do at home. Living in Florida, I am spoiled. The sunshine state would be paradise to them!
In Sweden, though, people long for the light of day. Even when it rains, people continue with their daily activities, workouts, practices or games. Since their sunshine is limited, people do not take the daylight for granted for even a minute.
If it just starts sprinkling in the US, we whip out our umbrellas, run to shelter, call the game and come back another day. After all, “the sun will come up tomorrow,” right?
What if we truly treasured all of the “light” in our lives? What if we valued the blessings we so easily take for granted? I choose to cherish the light. Rain or shine, I will be thankful.
Charity Butler is respected nationally & internationally as a pro athlete, writer, speaker, collegiate coach, hitting instructor and Certified Intrinsic Life Coach®.
Currently, as a Pro Speaker for Sports World, Inc, Charity travels the country speaking to more than 40,000 people annually. As a recognized expert in confidence training, she also presents at various conferences, colleges & universities.
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