Lean Toward The Light

26 May

There’s a Tephrocactus Diadematus in my backyard! Before you try to find the dictionary or call an exterminator for me, you need to know that the “TD” is a cactus plant, one otherwise known as a Pine Cone cactus. This is Arizona, so you would expect a cactus plant or two, right?

Well, yes, but this one has the special skill of moving dramatically in order to follow the source of light. (Maybe they all do this, but for the sake of the story, let’s say they don’t and mine is extra special. Thank you.) Anyway, one long, slender arm of the pine cone cactus moves almost 180 degrees so that it finds the most sunlight available. In the morning, the tubular arm is pointed over one side of the maroon pot, then in the evening over the opposite side. It leans toward the light.

“TD” reminds me that sometimes all I, or we, can do is lean toward the light. Here’s what I mean. Like you, I take in the world’s news from several sources. I figure it’s good to balance the news diet, even if it means reading and hearing from news providers whose views are very different from mine. But no matter what the source, I find very little news that makes me want to applaud or cheer or turn cartwheels. Sometimes, but not often enough. Without sounding too much like an old grouch, media covered events in the world today take my breath away…not because I’m delighted, but because I’m disturbed. Deeply disturbed. Politics. Economics. International relationships. The way we treat and mistreat the earth. And after I’ve taken in my daily load of human stupidity and thoughtlessness, I ask the same question: What can I do? How can I, one person, make any difference in this complex and complicated world? And I always arrive at the same answer: Nothing, because I’m too small and “It’s” to big. Realistically I can have no positive effect. Nada. Nothing.

But that was before I sat quietly and learned a lesson from “TD”. I’ve decided to “lean toward the light” in my own life, even though my tiny piece may be miniscule in the grand scheme of things. How I live my one little life, how I treat the few people I see each day, how I spend my money (and where), how I understand my relationship to the planet, how I choose to be and do my life is an act of leaning toward the light…or the darkness. Will it make a big difference and change the town or the city or the country where I live? No. But I will have chosen to place my grain of sand along side yours and his and hers as together we lean toward what is right, just, caring, and honorable.

My thanks to Tephrocactus Diadematus! Here’s to the message of a simple cactus plant: Lean toward the light.

One Response to “Lean Toward The Light”

  1. 14250sc June 15, 2013 at 11:17 pm #

    I love those thoughts. It’s so terribly frustrating to see and hear all that miserable stuff and not be able to do anything about it. But your insights and solutions make sense. Thank you.

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