It is Always Sunny in Ann Arbor

……Just kidding! But when the sun does burst out from behind the grey clouds, it is not only the sky that seems to get lighter. Even my daily walk to the dining hall was shorter with the sunshine streaming down. Every breath becomes a phenomenon, a spectacular gift from nature. Then there is the increased awareness of motion. Up and down, left and right. I am suddenly aware of the motion of my arms and my legs as I stroll along the sidewalk. How am I doing it? When did I learn this? Half of my hazy memories stem from static ridden home videos alone. My path to South Quad leads me past the Cube and the people populating the square. The children are reveling in action too. Their joy illuminates the complete lack of fear to their movements. Their parents move in a completely different manner, following different rules. They move their cameras up and down as helpless as I to capture the complete transformation that has occurred before our eyes.


As a person that has always loved winter, it feels like a betrayal to admit that I love this weather. But as much as I like the coziness of a knit-wool sweater and the warmth in the bottom of my stomach after a cup of hot chocolate, all of that is manufactured as a response to the weather. You can never truly embrace winter without keeping at least two layers in between you and the cold. Everything is open and free under the sun. We expose ourselves in t-shirts and shorts without concern. Our fears evaporate in the clear air and leave us with minds liberated from responsibility. Perhaps that is why I can move in such child-like wonderment today, all those adult burdens have simply vanished.

This is not an altogether original observation. When I proposed this blog post to my roommate, she may have rolled her eyes, and responded with a “duh”. But I think she unintentionally proved my point. This weather unites us, tempting us to all come out of our separate houses and dorm rooms. Sunshine is universal. Even on the coldest day in Ann Arbor, when the wind temporarily robs you of the ability to breathe, it must be sunny somewhere. Then, there is the comfort, that in a few months the sun will return with all its suffocating, summer humidity. Wherever you turn, you cannot escape the influence that the sun exerts. It is a constant reminder of life, fueling the processes that allow everything on Earth to bloom. I glance at a shrub and am reminded of eighth grade biology without the boredom of the classroom. Thousands of little pancake-like granum are hidden in that leaf, unconsciously saving the world by using the power of the sun to fix CO2 from the air. I feel the heat on my skin and think of the expansive, cold space that surrounds this tiny planet. Out of millions of floating rocks, this is the one with the star at the correct distance to create life, rather than burn it out of existence.

The sun has become more than simply the physical fuel for our lives, but also the inspiration of art and mythology. Every day, Apollo traverses the sky in his glowing chariot. Every night, Ra enters the Underworld and fights his eternal battle against Apophis, the god of Chaos. In Aztec legend, Huitzilopochtli is the sun and the moon is his sister’s decapitated head. Again, the sun is universal from one end of the hemisphere to the other. Akycha hails from the Inuit mythology and Inti from Incan legend. It is not just ancient history either. One of the most enduring symbols of America, after all, is the Washington monument, an enormous obelisk. Everything is built to optimize the sunlight, even the new buildings currently being constructed built for the University of Michigan business school. Its influence is omnipresent. You would have to move the Earth out of the orbit of the sun to escape its presence.

It is hilarious to think that the Earth was once considered the center of the solar system when our lives so clearly revolve around the sun. The warmth of the sunshine is always there even when it is not sunny in Ann Arbor.

Corrina Lee

Corrina is a senior majoring in Economics. In her spare time, she enjoys watching movies and television and telling herself that she has time to spare. Someday, she hopes to own a cat.

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