Tuesday, July 21, 2009
Turning Toward the Sun
I have always loved sunflowers. My first bedroom after leaving college was black and white with bright yellow sunflower accents. When I married I decorated my kitchen in sunflowers and daisies, my favorite two flowers. There is a fierceness in their beauty as they grow tall and strong, pushing forward toward the sun, symbolizing beauty, warmth, and happiness.
I was reminded of this as I walked with my children this past weekend. The evening was cool, and we went to the ruins of our hometown. The scars from the Mother's Day flooding are still raw and red. Several homes are shuttered and abandoned while many empty lots hold the ghosts of the families that once lived there and thrived. Those who remain are defiantly rebuilding,cleaning, and hoping that they can begin again; however, among the weeds of the abandoned something bright caught my eye. The sunflower was there.
At first I thought I was seeing things, but yeah, in the middle of three damaged homes, grew several flowers. One mile down, in the yard of a home where the walls collapsed, stood an entire garden of sunflowers. Yes, in the dirt and remaining sand, there they were. We counted and soon found over twenty. It was really an amazing sight to see. Where people no longer dwelled nature brought comfort and beauty.
Life is messy and filled with mud and muck. Sometimes it brings you down and makes you just as dirty as the flood waters that swirled over you, but with time and patience something beautiful may grow from it. Hopefully this will be the case of our small community.