Personal Journeys with Gramma

Life adventures, inspiration and insight; shared in articles, advice, personal chats and pictures.

Turn Your Face Toward the Sun and Grow

Slow motion photos of flowers pivoting toward the sun as it moves across the sky remind us that we grow best when we look for a bright side. Granted, these last few months optimism has been hard to sustain when the news seems to go from bad to worse daily. Even the Earth itself is threatening all out war with attacks of melting ice, earthquakes, bulging volcano calderas, and floods. As one radio DJ used to say, “The hits just keep on coming!” We’ve endured a lot of darkness.

This week, the weather around my house has included energetic thunderstorms and chilly winds. No one around here complains much about rain. After all, we’re prone to drought. And we don’t dare complain about chilly winds when so many nearby states are suffering through dangerous summer heat and wildfires. For us to complain would be unforgivably ungrateful.

I suppose being excused from summer weather distress—or maybe being refreshed with post-rain air or cleansing ions—has set the stage for me to enjoy a surge of optimism. Maybe everything can work out all right, after all! Of course, it didn’t hurt that a dear friend waxed poetic today in her praise of not merely my new book The Woman Who Saw Souls, but also the cover design. (Isn’t it humbling to think of how a few compliments and encouragement can make such a big difference? I must make a note to myself to do a little cheerleading for others whenever I can.)

My husband and I have lots of family staying with us just now, so we’re playing board games daily. Today, we played a well-worn edition of Parker Brothers’ SORRY. Nearly every turn, my card was a 12. When the repetition became comical, a family member decided to use the Internet to investigate the traditional meaning of that number. Apparently, the number 12 advises maintaining a positive outlook. Hmm. Interesting.

What if the time has come to look past the muck and mire of daily scandals and suspicions to follow the sun? What if the harder we focus on the world on the other side of all this dismay, the sooner we can force it to surface? What if—like former President Jimmy Carter—we flatly refuse to give up our dream of a kinder, cleaner nation? Friends tell me the world is facing a transition. What if the transition to a better time is progressing in spite of what appears to be a descent into dark ages? What if good truly is stronger than lies, greed, and selfishness?

Recently, I faced someone who squats stubbornly behind contagious prejudices he has contracted from those who make ignoring researched information they don’t like into a kind of religion. And I held my tongue—mostly. I didn’t step down into a hopeless argument that would look more like blindfolded boxers jabbing at one another while standing in separate rings. I chose to remain positive and caring.

What happened? I felt proud of myself. I like to imagine the person operating atop twisted suppositions will think a little before he shares the next unfounded rumor. And maybe not. But at least my day seemed brighter and I sensed myself growing the tiniest bit. Sunflowers may be onto something.

2 comments on “Turn Your Face Toward the Sun and Grow

  1. Frances Sullivan
    July 16, 2017

    I’ll follow you toward sunnier skies any day. In the meantime, let’s go find some sunflowers to watch. xx

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