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Meet Ray, the Lightbulb Who Might Change Your Life Mindset

by eileenw“Meet Ray. He is the light bulb who lives in the closet at the end of the hall.” Those two lines were all it took for me to be charmed by this simple but insightful picture book by Marianna Coppo, titled Ray.

While Ray has lived in several different rooms, the closet he currently resides in doesn’t offer much in the way of entertainment or wonder. Every day he hangs out with the same books, and toys, and off-season holiday decorations, and Tom (the spider—every closet needs one). But just as often as the light is on, the light is off. We’re told “darkness is boring if you don’t know how to fill it.” Ray doesn’t even see anything when he dreams. Until one day, he’s unscrewed from the closet light fixture, and placed in a lantern. Ray is taken camping—one short experience that changes everything for this little lightbulb. Although he comes back home to the closet after his camping trip, the memories he has now fill the darkness.

The book is lightly dotted with a plucky sense of humor. But beyond that, as someone who’s spent months under various degrees of shelter-in-place orders, the underlying message really struck a chord with me: Ray doesn’t have a lot of control of the situation, he can’t control the light/dark or his location. But remembering allows us to be not just where we are right now, but everywhere we’ve ever been.

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