April 26: heliotropism
learn a new word, sit in the sun
I’ve been thinking about this bed of tulips on my walks. In the morning, they’re all closed up, and later in the day, they open. I’d been thinking about the word heliotropism, which refers to the way plants (like tulips) will lean toward the sun. But it turns out there’s another word for this specific phenomenon of opening and closing with the light and warmth: photonastic.
And here’s a really soothing 12-second video to illustrate the phenomenon:
In other words, take a minute today to sit in the sun.
Go sit in the sun. I took my attention economy class outside for a break last week framed by these twin words of heliotropism and photonasty. I set a timer on my phone for five minutes, and we sat in the courtyard with our eyes closed, listening to the birds and the fraternity doing some sort of fundraising across from us. It was a remarkably great reset.
If you’re looking for an additional task: learn a new word. You might start by thinking about phenomena you’ve noticed (the way I was thinking about those tulips) and seeing if there’s a specific word for it.
What new words have you learned? Did you find some sun today? I’d love to hear from you. You can always reply to this email, comment below, or find me on twitter (@nancy_reddy) and instagram (@nancy.o.reddy).