Happy National Sunflower Day
About a week ago, I noticed on my Facebook feed that exactly a year ago, I had posted a picture of the most spectacular sunflower that appeared in my garden last year. I have always loved sunflowers ever since I was very young.
On our honeymoon, my Honey and I drove through the most magnificent sunflower fields on the secondary highways of North Dakota. It was the start of our 23 year adventure together (26 really in October but 23 years married). Sunflowers have been a wonderful part of many times spent together.
Our sunflower beginnings
We had very wonderfully kindred friends who lived near us. A couple, he was from Saskatoon and she was from Perth, Australia. They too had a fabulous garden and in it they had the most divine sunflowers. They were straight out of an artists palette with winding, twisted stems, and they curled all around her garden. I have never seen anything like them since. They still stand as my most favourite sunflowers of all time.
Sunflowers on our Honeymoon
Anyway, my Honey and I were driving along, first day of our honeymoon. We had gotten past the border of Canada and headed into North Dakota. It was just around that magical time they photographers call ‘the golden hour’ and we could hardly believe our eyes. Honestly, there were fields and fields of gloriously shining sunflowers for as far as the eye could see. Each basked in the glorious rich golden light of the early evening hour when minutes seem to take just their time…long enough for your breath to slow down and for thoughts and worries to drift away.
We got out of the car and took a bunch of pictures. And then…we just put the camera away in the car and walked around the glorious fields. Sneaking a kiss here and there, I’m sure. Our hearts filled for the night as we headed to the nearest town to find a motel.
Sunflowers had made their way into my heart for good, then.
Sunflowers are my symbol of hope
When I got sick with my CSF leak, in March of 2016, I had wanted to plant a garden. I thought this debilitating pain in my head would be a distant memory and I had wanted to work the land like I had the year before. By fall of last year, the first sunflowers had emerged to brighten my journey.
This year, around the same time of year again, the sunflowers are almost in full bloom. They are absolutely stunning. We planted a number of varieties this year which makes it fun to see them open. I love the Giant Russians with their terrific large faces. Just heavy with seeds and full of colour. I find myself rifling through dozens of photos every day that look a lot like the ones I took the day before. They are just too gorgeous to resist!
As I was looking at my FB feed the other day, it reminded me that I had posted a sunflower pick on the same day last year. Sept. 12th, 2016. I had just taken pics from today’s offerings.
So I declared it, National Sunflower Day
But I got to thinking. It was September 21st, 2016 that I officially started this blog. A lot has happened for me in that twelve months. Some good, some very good, and some not so good. I waited a year for treatment. I had many setbacks. I finally had an Epidural Blood Patch. I got better. And I started leaking CSF fluid again to have all my symptoms return. That all sounds pretty up and down.
It has been a bit of a roller coaster. I cannot deny that.
Inside me however I have found a joy so steady and steadfast that I knew I could return there despite debilitating physical symptoms (of course not always but I am learning to rely on it). I found connection and friendship in the ‘old fashioned way’ of writing letters, and making phone calls, and reaching out. I found purpose by sharing my journey with others and opening myself up. I found strength as I wind my way through a desperately complicated health care system that almost seems to want to keep me down. And I found hope through friendship, sharing, writing, and caring (and being cared for tremendously well).
So, I have decided that September 21st is officially (for me) National Sunflower Day...even though there really is no such thing and even though I declared the same day last week.
Thank you, each and every one of you, for reading, and listening, and caring, and loving me through my blog, my writing, and my journey. I am so deeply grateful for all of your support, encouragement, and love.
I hope you have the most fabulously terrific day…
Because it’s always National Sunflower Day in my SOMETHING WONDERFUL world!
Love Ingrid x