SYMBOLISM & SUNFLOWERS
JoAnna Bennett, O’Brien Communications Group
1 July 2021
It’s officially sunflower season. I walked outside on Tuesday morning and noticed the first bud opened into a glorious sunflower. The sunflowers started to pop out of the ground back in April, and now I get to ogle the first beautiful golden face. Along with their gorgeous appearance, sunflowers have an intoxicating aroma that attracts more than my olfactory system. As soon as the bud opened, I noticed several different birds and bees coming to see the golden petals.
While living in my previous home, I didn’t have enough sun in my yard to grow a substantial sunflower garden. I planted many seeds, but only about three flowers grew; and the tallest flower was only about a foot high. During the remaining four years in that home, I didn’t even try to grow sunflowers because I didn’t want to be disappointed.
When I moved into my new home, I was determined to successfully grow my sunflower garden. I found the perfect sunny spot on the side of my driveway. I may have gone overboard planting seeds while worrying about my last attempt because at the end of the season, I counted more than 230 beautiful flowers. It was symbolic for me.
The sunflowers grew as I grew. I learned to trust myself. I learned to care for the flowers and care for myself. And as time went by, the sunflower garden transformed into a jungle. And I realized I was exactly where I needed to be.
Sun, Water, and Dirt
I harvested seeds from last year’s jungle and tossed a few of the dried heads along the back corner of my property. I cheerfully noticed the seedlings starting to pop up this March. I watered them and made sure the dirt was nutrient-rich. Each day I observed the stalks growing taller and thicker. The tallest flower stands at over eight feet already. I hope this year I’ll be able to count more than 400 flowers. But for now, I’m enjoying my first bloom. And I’ll patiently wait for the ones that’ll come after.
As the author Stephen Richards says, “Minds are like flowers: they only open when the time is right.”