The Power of Sunbeams



Dear Reader:

Some of my most favorite quotes deal with the mysticism of sunbeams (as cited in the examples below:)

“I am always humbled by the infinite ingenuity of the Lord, who can make a red barn cast a blue shadow.” E. B. White *(See title painting)

Sunbeams seem to be magnets to poets, authors, philosophers, astronomers, artists and theologians…their thoughts on sunbeams span the diversity of man’s imaginations… without limitations.

*This is also true of some of us ordinary “Joe’s” who simply are just fascinated and drawn to sunbeams. Below are some of my favorite quotes on the subject…followed by my personal thoughts.

“If you have good thoughts they will shine out of your face like sunbeams and you will always look lovely!” Roald Dahl

Isn’t this true? Don’t we all know people…who… by us simply listening to the tilt in their voices or observing the shine on their faces (lit by sunbeams)… witness an inner joy of life filled with such daily gratitude that others are drawn to the magnetic effect like moths to light?

Carl Sagan, a famous cosmologist explained sunbeams from his distinct perspective.

“We live on a mote of dust suspended in a sunbeam.” 

Now that quote  reminds us of the fragility of this planet we call home, doesn’t it”

I remember as a child loving to go to libraries of past-gone days, consumed by the scent of old dusty books… and sit in the window reading nooks…not only to read but to watch the dust motes flying around the room like little fairies.

It is still one of my favorite memories from my childhood. I often imagined me (like a fairy) catching a ride on a mote of dust being pulled away by a sunbeam to “Never Never Land.”

“Hold out your hands to feel the luxury of sunbeams.” – Helen Keller

In many of Helen Keller’s early memories, particularly before the “light literally came on for her” while still living in a dark, silent body… Helen would communicate to Anne Sullivan, her “teacher,” (that the only thing she could remember from those dark, disturbing days before she felt “water” and finally made the connection to outside communication and knowledge)…was holding her hands straight out in front of her and feeling the warmth of the sun beaming down.

Of course she had no idea what the sun was or what was making that wonderful feeling on her hands…but it was the only hope she had that there was something better out there than the silent prison of darkness she lived in as a young child.




“The light from a sunbeam can force us to fall back on blind faith.”

I experienced this quote (upclose and personal) a few days ago and it was  terrifying. This time of year…driving in the late afternoon (as the sun does down) is quite perilous. My eyes are weak from the side effects of my cancer removing all my eyelashes…which in turn water constantly. So I always have to wear sunglasses but even they can’t always help.

I was rounding the bend on Highway 17 heading towards my road cut-off onto Miler…when the sun caught me full force. For a moment I could not see one single thing in front, beside, or behind me. The whole car was consumed by light. I was desperately trying to pull the visors down…again to no success in blocking out the sunbeams.

I instinctively slowed down to almost a stop ….afraid someone behind me would slam into me or perhaps I had gone over the middle line…my heart was pounding. I found myself praying that my eyesight would be restored and I would get  home safely unharmed and/or not harming someone else.

A few seconds later…the light shifted and I discovered I had remained, somehow,  on my side of the road and the cars behind me must have suffered similar problems because everyone had slowed down. When I pulled into the driveway I said a prayer of gratitude for God guiding me through that scary ‘darkness of light’ and forcing me to fall back on blind faith…turning the situation over to the Only One who could intervene.

To finish…this last quote makes me smile and I hope it is true…just like the child in me wanted it to be in the reading nook with the dust motes. One day I will know.

Ah, the souls of those that die, are but sunbeams lifted higher.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow.

So until tomorrow….

“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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2 Responses to The Power of Sunbeams

  1. Rachel Edwards says:

    I remember when I worked for Laura Melfi sevral years ago at Memminger downtown several years ago there was a point on I26 that was terrifying…the sun would be rising…the cars were flying by and there was nothing that coukd be done but say a prayer…really scary…glad that you made it home ok.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Becky Dingle says:

      It is such an oxymoron to be lost in the “darkness of light” but, as we have both experienced it happens more often than not…I can’t help but think a good percentage of car wrecks are due exactly to this cause…it really must feel like what Saul/ Paul experienced on the road to Damascus….literally blinded by the light.

      Liked by 1 person

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