Thursday, August 28, 2008

Sunshine on a Stem

Where last year’s garden was, Gerald planted a patch of sunflowers. He quickly acknowledged that they were much too thick. I don’t think he really knew how to thin them, and I know he has not had the time. I thought it could just be an experiment to see how well the plants bloomed planted that closely. For some weeks now, the tall plants have made a thick rectangle of swaying green—there is not a mite of space between the plants.

Last Sunday there was one tall stem above all the rest. Topping it was a beautiful circle of yellow. The next day a couple more blooms came out. By today, we have a hundreds of bright yellow flowers facing out kitchen window. Obviously, they are not planted too close together for maximum blooming. There are some little short plants with smaller blooms on the front row, but the huge blooms dominate. It is a lovely sight, and the birds will enjoy those seeds this winter.

I enjoyed Gerald’s observation that his green John Deere tractor with yellow wheels parked beside the flowers yesterday matched them perfectly.

It is nice to have some extra sunshine in our lives. There is so much sadness in the world and so many health problems in our immediate family and in our church family. Enjoying summer’s beauty is sometimes an antidote to being overwhelmed by our problems.

Talking to someone by phone who is struggling with grief, I was told she went to a Christian book store today and bought not one but two books—one to distract herself from her family’s problems and one that might offer helpful suggestions.. I can remember when I have faced serious problems in the past, I would often search out all the books I could find on a particular topic, such as how to care for elderly parents. I always felt if I checked out other people’s ideas, I would perhaps run into information I did not know or ideas I did not have. And sometimes I was simply searching for affirmation that I was handling things as well as possible.

My brother told me once that some problems we just have to live with—we cannot solve them. I have always remembered that, and sadly found it to be true sometimes. We can’t always fix things. But even when we can’t, thoughtful living and seeking ways to handle what we have to live with can make a positive difference in our lives.

It can help to deliberately enjoy the good things in our lives even when the bad things are more overpowering. No one wants to be in a hospital room, but enjoying the beautiful flowers that someone sent to show their love is not a wasted effort. Smiling at photographs of happy days gone by is not a waste of time. And looking out on a bright patch of large yellow blooms smiling at us does lift out spirits.

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Misti Sandefur, Christian author/freelance writer said...

Flowers always lift me up when I'm feeling down, especially yellow ones, because yellow's my favorite color. :) Too bad you didn't snap a picture of the yellow sun flowers to put with your post; I would have loved to see the sight. Of course the flowers wouldn't have been as beautiful in a picture as they are up close. ;)

Well, I'm off to bed now. I have a doctor's appointment tomorrow afternoon in Rosiclare that I have to get up for and it's already 4:26am.

Take care and God bless!

Sue Glasco said...

Misti--Now I know how you produce so much--you don't sleep. Hope all goes well today even without sleep. Sue

Meg in Tally said...

Pictures, Sue!!! I know Gerald likes to take them! Give him his marching orders and let us see what you're seeing out your window...of course, your words have painted quite a nice picture, too!

Hope the family health is doing better...I'm sure they all are happy to have you there helping and offering encouragement!