On 1st October 1977, Electric Light Orchestra (ELO) released their double album “Out of the Blue” and it stayed on my turntable for months; I loved it.
I’m listening to it again as I write. Not on my old stereo system of course; now it is streamed through my laptop, but that music of 43 years ago still sounds fresh today.
Side three was my favourite – entitled “Concerto for a Rainy Day.” It features the tracks “Standin’ in the Rain,” “Big Wheels Turning,” “Summer and Lightening” and, of course, the wonderful “Mr Blue Sky.”
Today, after a week of rain, the sun is shining, the sky is blue, and I feel my spirits soar. The lyrics of the song seem so right:
“Hey there, Mr Blue
We’re so pleased to be with you.
Look around, see what you do;
Everybody smiles at you.”
I don’t suffer from Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD), but I know people who do. Sunshine is essential for them. I have a friend who moved to Tenerife for her health. She has ME and is much better in the sun and where the days are the same length all year round. I texted her yesterday; it’s 25˚C over there and – yes – sunny. “I’m not jealous at all,” I told her, and felt my nose grow longer.
One of my favourite books as a child was Noel Streatfield’s “The Painted Garden.” In it, the father, a writer, has depression and cannot write. The family visits California because he’s always better in the sun and, sure enough, in that sun, they start to hear the typewriter keys tapping away again. The book is not really about the father at all; it is about the children and their experiences over there, but I do sometimes wonder if Streatfield herself suffered depression in the dark gloom of the English winter and found that she could not write.
I know that I always feel better in the sun. I cannot go out in it for long as I burn, but I love sunny days. The long hot summer we had a couple of years ago was wonderful – even though the temperatures were uncomfortable at times.
It may be, for some of us, that we need to watch our mental health more carefully in the winter months. Even in winter, we generally have some sun and perhaps it would be a good idea to make a resolution now to take advantage of those sunny moments and get outside.
I may have lost my chance today. As I have been writing, the blue sky has clouded over, a spiteful wind has whipped around the plants in the garden and it feels like rain again.
There are still roses, however, on the bush outside my window – sunshine yellow roses. I shall cut some and put them in a blue vase. It won’t be the same, but it will remind me that Mr Blue Sky will be back another day.
A Moodscope member.