This is the time of year when seasons seem confused. Back-to-school shoves me into faster pace and a regular rhythm, but summer maintains a firm grip. Weeks of heat and dryness leave me feeling leached of the energy needed to make the eventual transition into Autumn's harvest time. Apples are already appearing in the farmer's markets but I can't go there just yet. This ebb flow of my being always comes and I try to remember this is my cycle, my rhythm. What I misplace - which means I am gifted by repeated surprise - is the gesture which always returns me to higher spirits, renewed enthusiasm:
Diurnal migrations in my honda CRV move me through interstate, rural highway and city roads which offer subtle variations upon green, gold and grey. At first I barely register the waving towers of sunflowers lining up along the roadways. A few stalks here and there, a dot of color amid the dry grasses and weeds. There is a moment in time - I believe it comes late August and early September - when seemingly overnight those few yellow scouts of the the prairie transform into full platoons crowding the ditches and open fields, clamoring over hillocks and spilling up to the edges of yards, fields,roadways.
Immediately I fall under the spell of their gesture to lift, reach, open to the light and sky.
I pull over my car and wander amid their rustling stalks, seeking the perfect sunflower to photograph but perfection is not their gift. I emerge with a camera full of inspiration and am golden stained and blessed for my efforts.
I return to my car, frustrated by the fact I can never capture the sunny profusion that is a field of sunflowers. The images in my camera just a yellow blur, missing the individuality of each flower contributing to the buoyancy of the whole.
For some reason, this leads me to think about my friends - my field of sunflowers scattered around the world. Your presence in my life renews my spirits daily. When I catch myself flagging, I need only turn to your words, your images, your creations and I find myself back in that space of hope and possibility. I get frustrated by the distances - oceans and continents and highway miles - that separate me from you but like the sunflower, your essence is always right there on the edges of my vision; the inspiration of your being moving directly into my heart. My physical life cannot hold all of you at once, but in the space of spirit and dreams, we are all together. This is the gesture of sunflowers and friendship: love reflecting into infinity.