Tag Archives: sunflowers

20 December: A lover’s words.

 Nature rarer uses yellow
    Than another hue;
Saves she all of that for sunsets, —
    Prodigal of blue,

 Spending scarlet like a woman,
    Yellow she affords
Only scantly and selectly,
    Like a lover's words.

from Poems by Emily Dickinson, Three Series, Complete, by Emily Dickinson.

I’m not sure I agree with Emily Dickinson about yellow! Think of all the daffodils, dandelions, marigolds, groundsel … The sunflowers seen above owe their presence in a Canterbury garden to more than a little human help: pre-Colombian American people saving the seeds, choosing the best to produce future crops; immigrants sending seed home where the process began again to find the best varieties to feed Europe and fill our gardens. The seed that grew this specimen was from a packet of bird seed.

So let’s be grateful for yellow, for daffodils and sunsets, cats’ eyes and sunflowers, and remember that they are embodied words of a lover, the Lover:

And he said: Let the earth bring forth the green herb, and such as may seed, and the fruit tree yielding fruit after its kind, which may have seed in itself upon the earth. And it was so done. And the earth brought forth the green herb, and such as yieldeth seed according to its kind, and the tree that beareth fruit, having seed each one according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

Genesis 1:11-12.

Listen out for the Lover’s words this Advent! O come, O come, Emmanuel.

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Filed under Advent and Christmas, Daily Reflections, Laudato si', poetry

31 August: Sunflowers

Sunflowers
To sing break-heartedly of light
Like dying sunflowers
Gathering to themselves their life,
Defying that which is their source.
Small suns, we grasp your wantonness
And would reverse your death.
Our poorness seize your gold.

But go you must,
Dear small reflections
Of so great a God,
We would you stay.

Sheila Billingsley, August 2019.

The sunflowers are indeed ‘gathering to themselves their life’ as Summer strolls into Autumn. The seed heads will turn to black, attracting the birds when they are hung up in the garden in weeks to come; we cannot seize their gold, but we can remember them, and save a few seeds to reflect God next year.

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Filed under Autumn, Daily Reflections, Laudato si', poetry, Summer

Working hard in the garden

The worker bees are enjoying the sunflowers, and they don’t mind a long day in the sun. They have more stamina for the heat than I do. Come the winter, when many of these workers will die, my friend P will hang out the sunflower seed heads for the birds. As always, P’s sunflowers are taller than mine by a good metre!

Let us hope and pray that restrictions can soon be lifted and remain lifted on getting together to work the garden and share many activities that are still socially distanced and carried out wearing masks.

And let’s continue to look and see and hear and listen to what is going on around us. And Laudato si’!

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Filed under Interruptions, L'Arche, Laudato si', Summer, winter