Meeting the “Sun” Halfway

Dear Reader:

I have to admit when I stopped by one of the Summerville nurseries in the midst of decorating the porch for Christmas I was looking for more ‘Christmasy plants’ than the owner’s recommended two dwarf “Firepower” nandinas. (*I mean these are just ordinary plants that turn into bushes that I remember seeing everywhere as a child growing up in North Carolina…a dime a dozen. I seemed to remember that everyone had them because they were inexpensive, easy to plant and maintain, pretty….all in all very cost effective.

The owner must have sensed my ‘less than overwhelmed’ expression when she suggested the dwarf plants for the bench. She hurriedly went on to tell me as they got more sun the color of the leaves would turn into a dark red brilliant color like a “Moses” bush. And the cold weather actually made them turn faster… I would be pleased since I could plant them elsewhere after Christmas.

I is well after Christmas and we have definitely had roller coaster temperatures throughout December and January. She was right, however, I love the ‘firepower’ dwarf nandinas. They do love the cold and sun…the few plants that I don’t have to cover up or drag in and out as these crazy weather fronts come through. Up and down, up and down.

It was late afternoon when I took this picture of the nandinas yesterday surrounding “Little Big Red” on the white bench. The slanting rays of the sun were only hitting the right side of the bench…apparently this happens daily. Sure enough…the right nandina is a brilliant shade of red while the nandina that gets more shade (on the left) is slightly more subtle and is mixed colored with green leaves.

Yesterday was the first day “Little Big Red” had been back on the bench ( Due to the freezing temps over night he has been inside the house on the other side.) He was so happy to be basking again in his favorite place in the world…the white bench! Chelsey counted several buds springing up …by Valentines “Little Big Red” might have some red surprises for us. He is definitely a “chip off the old block.”

After I came in from watering all the plants on the porch including the poinsettias (still so beautiful)…I thought again about the difference between the two nandina plants and how the proximity to the sunlight makes such a difference in living things….and not just plants.

When I am filling up “Surcie” at one of the gas stations near my house I often think longingly of the ‘good old days’ when a person didn’t have to fill up their own tank and wash their windshields and check the oil and other lubricants…it was all done for us. Sigh! Thank goodness for mother’s sake all that was offered to her in her day…she would never have been able to  drive today and do that herself…at least not without stress and difficulty.

When I came across this excerpt it really took me back down memory lane.  (Huffington Post/Glen Beck/”The Media of the Future.”)

“There was a time when you pulled your car into a gas station and a bell rang. As you sat in your car, about a dozen uniformed attendants would rush out to your vehicle and surround it. They would fill your car with gas and monitor the other essential fluids. They would check your tire pressure, clean your windshield, and shine the chrome on your bumper until you could use it as a mirror. When your sparkling car was ready for departure, you might receive a road map or even a stuffed animal for your child.

The treatment was spectacular, considering you really only needed gas.”

I have started wondering if I am getting too set in my ways…like car drivers of old… part of me expecting others to “shine the chrome on my bumper until I can use it as a mirror?” I want to feel the light of God upon me but am I still anticipating the light to come to me and not vice-versa? Shouldn’t I be out there chasing the light so I, too, can shine brilliantly instead of staying in the shadows and just getting by with a mediocre inner light?

Isn’t God’s light more about positioning and location in our own lives? Shouldn’t we be the ones to place ourselves in the direct light intended for each of us individually?

If I go out on the deck on a winter afternoon like, the ones we are enjoying now…how I position myself is critical! If I place my lounge chair facing the afternoon sun…I feel warm and happy all over with the rays shining down on me…but if I don’t get up occasionally and move my lounge chair…I soon find myself in the shadows, the shade, and the cold once again.

So until tomorrow….”God will meet you halfway. Do your best and let Him do the rest.” (Found this in one of my old family Bibles) *Still good advice…

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh






About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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5 Responses to Meeting the “Sun” Halfway

  1. Honey Burrell says:

    Your light always, always shines Becky! You have no idea how many lives you have touched and continue to touch each and everyday’ You certainly are always ‘my sunshine!’ Have a beautiful day.
    Love you lots❤️💕

    Liked by 1 person

    • bcparkison says:

      Yes to everything honey has said.
      Plus….I do have an old fashioned service station that will check under the hood if I ask and they have checked tires ,on their own, whenthey thought one was low. Lucky me!.
      Also…I love Nandinas and have large ones in my beds but recently read that the beautiful berries,which we have used at Christmas to decorate, are in fact not good for the birds. They can’t digest them.


      • Becky Dingle says:

        Will have to warn Sammy! And you are so lucky…would love to be able to find a good old fashioned service station again. Have a great day!

        Liked by 1 person

    • Becky Dingle says:

      Isn’t it nice that the sun is so big it provides all the light we all need….God saw to that!Thank you for your sweet words Honey…Have a beautiful day! Am off to my foot appointment today…fingers crossed.


  2. Sis Kinney says:

    Good Friday morning, Becky,
    As I was reading the tail end of your blog this morning my thoughts were EXACTLY what Honey posted!! (I’m late this a.m., so she beat me to it!) Exactly! You have NO idea how many lives you have touched with your inner light and beauty shining forth in each and every blog each and every day. That’s part of the reason I choose to read your blog early in the morning (well, most mornings!). You ARE sunshine to many!
    And for the nandinas – I’d never heard of them, but you “bet your sweet bippy” (remember THAT saying?) I put them in with my landscaping ideas. Since you say they were so prolific in North Carolina, even though you were not in the mountains, perhaps they’ll do well up here, especially since they seem to thrive in cold weather. (According to Southern Living, which I just checked, they’re good in Zones 6-10; we’re in 7.) They’re on my list!!
    Have a wonderful day and a relaxing weekend!
    Much love,


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