Monsoon mood

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Maria Victoria Rufino

Beyond Brushstrokes

Monsoon mood

On rainy, dreary days, people feel blue. It is a reaction to the absence of sunlight. The incessant monsoon rains exacerbate the mood of anxiety and restlessness.

In the temperate zones, prolonged periods of darkness and too much artificial lighting have debilitating effects on sensitive personality types. Seasonal Affective Disorder and depression set in.

In the tropical zone, where there is abundant sunshine, one can get claustrophobia by working in a windowless office. There is “cabin fever” syndrome similar to the effect of being confined in a prison cell. Ordinary fluorescent and incandescent laps cannot approximate natural sunlight.

Whenever the blues strike, one needs to step into the sunlight. Exposure to the sun’s beneficial rays improves one mood, and physical, emotional, and mental health.

The source of energy and strength, the sun maximizes and accelerates the processing of minerals, nutrients, and vitamins that humans derive from food. Without vitamin D, the body and the bones deteriorate. Without natural light, the brain does not function properly. Sleep is elusive. The body’s biorhythm goes out of synch.

On a psychic level, the sun plays a significant role in helping the individual get in touch with his soul. This explains why some of the ancient cultures worshipped the sun. The Earth revolves around the sun. The seasons — spring, summer, autumn, and winter — follow a chronological pattern based on the earth’s axial tilt towards the sun.

Linking with the sun increases vitality and verve. It elevates one’s consciousness, promotes inner growth, and expands awareness.

We have the resiliency to adjust to circumstances.

To alleviate sadness, stress, depression or anxiety, people have different ways of coping. Physical activities, sports and exercise trigger the happy hormones. Others immerse themselves in creative or spiritual activities — music, arts, prayer, meditation, and yoga.

Whenever possible, some people escape to the cool mountains. Amidst the familiar mist and towering pine trees, one can recapture a semblance of the bygone, carefree childhood days. The fresh air, brilliant colors, and fragrance of flowers invigorate the body and soothe the spirit. It recalls the nostalgic years when life was simple and easy. Rainy days and nights may come but one feels cozy and safe in a cocoon or a time bubble. The rhythmic patter on the roof is a counterpoint to the sound of crickets and cicadas.

Many people flee to the beach for sunshine. The healing rays work on brain, the immune system and the bones.

The water babies and sailors splash at the seashore, explore hidden coves and swim with the exotic fishes. The powder blue sky is cloudless and the wind blows the playful kits and vivid sails out to sea.

The hours can stretch to days of nonchalance and indulgence. After all, the body and mind deserve a brief hiatus from distress and pollution.

One of the best experiences at sea is watching the moods of the sky and the play of shadow and light. Sunrise is a pastel palette of peach, pink and blue streaks across the East. The sun seems like a pale lantern lighting up the distant lavender hills and rolling pastureland. Everything seems to be soft focus and hazy. The air smells of freshly cut grass. The happy sound of chirping birds announces a new day.

There is a cliff that overlooks a small lagoon. It is almost the mythical never land. The boisterous kids prove their bravery by diving into the clear water to play hide and seek inside the cavern underneath. Peter Pan, the lost boys and the mermaids, are imaginary playmates.

During low tide, they wander around inside the tunnels and make eerie echoes. When the tide rises, they scamper to safety on the rocks or the hidden corner of a rocky beach where the endangered species of pawikan sea turtles lay their precious eggs.

Monsoon season is unpredictable. The rainstorm may suddenly happen. Thunder and lightning precede the downpour. The towering clouds release gallons of water. The waves heave and break against the craggy cliff. The southwestern wind habagat howls. The trees shudder as leaves are shorn from the branches. The sea and sky turn slate and charcoal gray.

When the weather clears up, one can watch a spectacular sunset. As the magnificent orb descends from the heavens, a magical performance begins.

Cloud formations assume mythical shapes lit from within. The sky resembles a canvas with abstract splashes of yellow, copper, cobalt, crimson and indigo. Sea gulls soar then dip gently into the shimmering sea.

From the vantage point of a raft, one sees a new perspective. The sun on brink of the horizon takes on a new meaning. One feels the fluid pulse of the sea. Slowly, one learns to let go.


Maria Victoria Rufino is an artist, writer and businesswoman. She is president and executive producer of Maverick Productions.