Thursday, July 2, 2020


What is it about sunflowers? They start so small, a seed about the size of your fingernail. Some, once planted in the ground, will sprout small green leaves and continue growing into tall stalks, sometimes 12-15 feet high. When satisfied with its height, the stalk, which has been forming small flower buds as it slowly reaches to the sky, has formed one larger, glorious flower bud at the top of the stalk. This flower could be as big as 12 inches in diameter, and as it slowly opens, it chooses to face east, where the sun will rise and greet the flower daily. The flower and the sun seem to be celebrating and worshiping each others' miraculous beauty as a daily ritual. Continuing down the stalk, following the lead of the first bloom now behaving as a matriarch, several smaller flowers will slowly open their petals to greet the warmth of the sun.
As a sunflower blooms, both the larger and the delicately smaller buds tend to face the east, anticipating and looking forward to the gentle warming of the sun. The stems of the smaller flowers branch off the main stalk and continue to stretch up into the sky, following the example of their matriarch, reaching as high as their stems allow them to, stretching towards the sun.

It is thought that sunflowers follow the sun, their bright faces soaking the warm rays as it slowly moves across the sky. To a degree, they do. It is when they are buds they reach and pull and try to face the east, where the sun will warm them into bloom. Once they have bloomed, the sunflower will stop following the sun but will continue to face east, waiting in golden anticipation for the sun's return each and every morning.

So, what is it that draws us to sunflowers? You have to admit it, they do have some sort of attraction. Could it be their golden yellow color? Maybe. The color yellow is a cheerful, happy color. Perhaps we are drawn to the flower because it instantly makes us feel better just by looking at it. Maybe it's the natural Fibonacci Sequence it so proudly displays after it has let go of all it's colorful beauty, proving that there is possibly no end to its generosity. The draw the flower holds is almost magnetic, filling the average onlooker with awe. 

Sunflower Seeds: Nutrition, Health Benefits and How to Eat Them
For me, it is all of this and more. The sunflower was the first plant that I discovered the joy from starting from seed. I marvel at the goodness of this small seed, how much potential it holds and how much joy it will bring. It's something I look forward to every summer.

Sunflowers can teach us lessons. First, start small, stay humble, and bloom where you are planted. But, don't just bloom alone. Make sure you set a good example and encourage others to follow it. Stand tall and turn your face towards the warmth of every day. Find a way to bring your joy to others, and be generous with your time. Lastly, when it's time to say goodbye, leave behind memories and ways to remind those who love you how to remember you. 

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