Ecuador

There was no electricity at Yanayacu, a biology station in Ecuador's cloud forest. At night, we walked to and from the bunkhouse by candlelight and at first, this little walk seemed to take longer than it should. I tripped over uneven stones and constantly worried that the wind I was creating would blow out the flame. I could only see around the radius of the light- my hand holding the candle and the small bugs swirling erratically around the fire.

Then one night, someone said, "Bend the light down." "What?" I watched her cup her hand around the flame. I mimicked her and all of a sudden, the space around me lit up like magic. The reflected light revealed the haphazardly placed rocks on the path. I began to think of this notion of bending the light as a metaphor for this journey, of finding new lights in which to see the world around me.