Bend Toward the Light

To start, I’d like to say that if it should ever seem like I’m telling you what to do as I write here in this space, such as maybe with that title up there and maybe towards the end of this, I want you to know that I’m not.  I am not at all telling YOU what to do.  I am, however, telling someone what to do, and that someone is ME!  Writing helps me wrangle and sort through all the thoughts and ideas that swirl around in my mind trying to catch my attention while I’m doing other things. When I put my thinking onto paper or the screen, sometimes I notice that a pep talk pops out.  Now I don’t know if you need a pep talk and I don’t wanna shove an advice column down your throat, but maybe if I tell you a little story and something I write sounds like something you might want to try, well then, best of luck, we’re in this thing together.

So, right before the new year, I went to the grocery store to pick up some, well,  groceries. And as I was walking to the checkout line, I passed the flower department.  There was a table full of little glass jars, and each one had a bulb sitting on top.  Thin white roots were hanging down from each bulb into some water and a few short green leaves had sprouted up out of each one.  I thought to myself that a growing plant might be a nice thing to have around the house as the new year began and the winter season kicked into high gear.  It could be a  little reminder of life and green while the world outside was gray and bleak.  So I bought one and placed it on my nightstand next to my bedroom window. I happily watched the thing grow over the next few days.  It sprouted buds and, as plants do, the little guy began to slowly bend itself toward the window, toward the sunlight, so that its leaves were curved a bit and leaned to one side.

One morning while I was sitting in my chair, the plant on the table next to me, as the sun was rising and beginning to shine through the blinds, I absently turned the jar around so that it’s leaves were now curving away from the window and then I said to the plant, quite out loud, “Go ahead now, bend yourself back to the light.”

Don’t you dare even judge me for talking to a plant!  Because it did exactly what I said.  Now we both know it wasn’t because I told it to, but because, that’s what plants do and it occurred to me that we can do the same thing.  We can turn ourselves toward the light, toward happiness, toward good things, toward joy and love. We can do it whenever we need to, whenever something comes along and spins us in the wrong direction. We can do it every day just for good measure.   And so, even though I wasn’t in dire need of a pep talk that morning, I was quite happy and content, but still, I spent some time making a little list of things that bring me to the good stuff — time with my friends and family, reading, running, cooking, hiking, riding my bike, gazing at the sky, yoga, meditating, doing kindness for another…just to name a few.

I recommend every day.  Every day think of that plant and give yourself a little reminder–YOU can bend yourself toward the light! Now go do it!


I tried to recreate the bending for my students, however we are blessed with big classroom windows that let in lots of sun and so this plant grew straight and tall and bloomed right where it was.

I tried to recreate the bending for my students, however, we are blessed with big, wide classroom windows that let in lots of sun, and so this plant grew straight and tall and bloomed right where it was.  PS — That ‘You’ rock was from a little school kindness lesson, totally unrelated to this post, but it fits well, doesn’t it?



2 thoughts on “Bend Toward the Light

  1. Love your posts! I do not feel like you are giving us advice but just great lessons to live our life. I’m going to be especially conscious today and going forward to bend toward the light.

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