5-Minute Cure for the Winter Doldrums

You are my sunshine, my lovely sunshine. 

You make me happy when skies are grey. 

It’s winter in South Carolina, and the skies have been grey—a lot. Because I’m the original solar panel (circa 1964), when the sun don’t shine, not much gets done around here. (I know that’s bad grammar, but a lack of sun affects everything, even my rebellious inner editor.) The sun, and the lack thereof, contributes to my overall productivity, cheerfulness, and inspiration. If your weather has been anything like mine, you know what it’s like during the winter doldrums.

Today, as I gazed out at yet another morning sky painted the color of dusty kittens and fireplace ash, I remembered the words to the song my grandmother used to sing to me.

You are my sunshine, my lovely sunshine. 

You make me happy when skies are grey.

Perhaps Granny was solar powered, too. The songwriter certainly understood what a day without yellow magic is like.

For nostalgia’s sake, I Googled “You Are My Sunshine” on Wikipedia and YouTube. First recorded in 1939, it was declared one of the state songs of Louisiana as a result of its association with former state governor and country music singer Jimmie Davis. It’s been a perennial favorite, recorded by everyone from Johnny Cash, to Aretha Franklin, to Ray Charles.

 I listened to several versions in my trip down memory lane. Johnny Cash’s mournful rendition made me want to jump off a bridge. Ike and Tina Turner’s version brought back another powerful childhood memory – of Siamese cats caterwauling outside my bedroom window. Ray Charles’ version made me smile, but it was children’s musician Elizabeth Mitchell’s rendition that most reminded me of my granny’s song. I share it below, along with Ray Charles’ fun contrast.

Grey days make me introspective. They make me look closely, ponder deeply, and think intentionally. Sometimes they make me look past the rain into the space beyond time that stretches vast and endless.

Revelation 21:23 raises the shade on heaven, where we’ll spend eternity with God. “The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp.”

One day, perhaps, in a place of perpetual light and life, where all the kitten-colored skies are yellow and there is no rain, Granny and I will sing to the Lord our own version of Jimmie Mitchell’s hit.

You are my sunshine, my lovely sunshine. . . 

In the meantime, I’ll look for sunshine, even on days that aren’t sunny. I suspect I’ll find it in unlikely places, like yellow daffodils, happy memories, and YouTube videos. I’m confident you can find it, too.

Just stay away from Johnny Cash.

What about you? How do you counteract the grey skies and winter doldrums? Leave a comment below and share your thoughts with our sweet blogging community.

And if you are reading by email and can't see the YouTube videos of Elizabeth Mitchell's and Ray Charles' versions of "You Are My Sunshine," CLICK HERE.

Do you feel overloaded, overwhelmed, and overtired? I have the answer: the Women to Women Spring Conference at Springmaid Beach Resort in Myrtle Beach. I'll be joining the lovely Janet Powers Roller and Cherie Nettles to present "Too Stressed to Be Blessed? Come Away!" on March 28-30. It's an amazingly affordable weekend filled with practical Bible teaching, powerful praise music, and timely devotions. And did I mention LOTS of free time? Grab a girlfriend and come along! I’d love to have you join me. You’ll find all the information here:

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