Why do sunflowers make us so happy? The entire bloom is a smile and it is so hard not to see its joyfulness. We flock to the nearest sunflower fields in late summer and snap smiling selfies amidst the endless bright yellow blooms. Jenna and I recently went to Wildly Native Flower Farm in Chestertown to pick our sunshine. Being amid the uplifted faces of sunflowers is so welcoming and gives us hope. Bringing the blooms home brightens our soul.
English actor Dame Helen Mirren said, “I don’t think there’s anything on this planet that more trumpets life than the sunflower. For me that’s because of the reason behind its name. Not because it looks like the sun but because it follows the sun. During the course of the day, the head tracks the journey of the sun across the sky. A satellite dish for sunshine. Wherever light is, no matter how weak, these flowers will find it. And that’s such an admirable thing. And such a lesson in life.”
Tracking the journey of the sun each day, and in each new season, has become a fascination of mine after living on the Chester River for five years. I have been enthralled by its gentle voyage up and down the river bank. I enjoy taking sunrise and sunset photos and think often of my family friends near and far who are all following the same sun miles and hours apart. Our connectedness is palpable.
Finding the sunlight, no matter how weak it may appear, is truly a great life lesson. I am a glass half full person and I look for the sun in every situation. I believe that is why I am passionate about education. My chosen field is a reflection of the sunflower field, and I stand in awe of the inspiring teachers at Kent School who help students find the sunlight each and every day. All while nourishing their students’ hearts and minds so they grow steadfast with their faces confidently pointing to the sun.
And, although sunflowers will bloom only for a finite time, I rejoice in their honest beauty as they follow the daily journey of the rising and setting sun. I think I may need a sun dial.