Tuesday, August 17, 2021

In a Field of Sunflowers

 


I have had a heavy heart these past few days. So much of the world seems spectacularly broken. I ache for the people of Haiti, and for those in Afghanistan, particularly the women and girls, and I feel so very helpless. Wildfires continue to roar across our province, devouring towns, homes, and hectares and hectares of forest. A most unnecessary election has been called in my country, and Covid cases rise in the unvaccinated population. Our Iranian friends are very sad because her mother is currently in ICU in Iran, and A feels very far away from her family. There are few vaccines available there. Logic and common sense seem to have fled the world. 

And yet. 

In my garden there is a profusion of beauty - hydrangeas, roses, zinnias, dahlias, cosmos, and more. I go out into the cool morning and pluck green beans from the climbing vines and peer under huge squash leaves to discover zucchini that seem to have exploded overnight. The tomatoes are, at last, beginning to ripen and I pop a red cherry globe, warm from the sun, into my mouth and sweetness explodes. 

I am grateful for my place in this world. It is a gift that I do not take lightly. 


On Sunday we enjoyed the company of two of our grands while their parents enjoyed a day to themselves to celebrate an anniversary. A new sign along the highway alerted us to a Sunflower Walk, so we thought we'd explore. There were lots of photo opportunities and we had so much fun winding in and out of the tall sunflowers and posing in front of the cut outs. 


Six varieties of sunflowers lifted their faces to the sun. The temperature was not too hot, and not too cold, but just right. 


Does this American Gothic couple look familiar to you? 


The pinkish petals of this sunflower glow against the light and its beauty is juxtaposed alongside the ugliness of world events. How resilient is earth's beauty, and how soothing it is. Beauty does not erase brokenness, but something in me, and in most humans, was created to absorb beauty, and, as Wendell Berry writes to "come into the peace of wild things" and to "rest in the grace of the world." 

Daily beauty lies all around us and calls us to notice. What is beautiful in your world just now?

  

23 comments:

  1. What is beautiful in my world now, Nature, flowers,birds, sunsets,
    family and friendship. But, I find difficult to be happy in those very difficult days, so many bad news everywhere in the world.

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  2. The world is a sad and scary place at the moment I do agree. Thank you for your lovely family photos, a little bit of sanity. B x

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  3. i love sun flowers a lot and the pictures of you and your family?

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  4. 'Common sense seems to have fled the world', I think so many of us feel that. One feels so distanced from the horrors, yet there is a need to somehow help.
    Flowers heal spirits that have sunk.

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  5. The news is always horrible, but I agree. We have to turn the news off. We cannot help. Our emotional well-being is important, and we have to respect that. I have toyed with recognizing it in the blog or ignoring it. Both of us have been on edge.
    It is our grandchildren who kept us going all this time. I enjoyed your visit with yours!

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  6. i feel the same and am desperate to know how to help any of these situations,

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  7. Your words about how sad this world has become certainly resonate with me dear Lorrie. Times are very sad for so many and we do feel helpless much of the time because there is no way we can bring back happiness and safety in those far away places. Each day something horrific seems to hit the news and I really just have to turn it off - the pictures, the voices, the upsetting images.
    We are fortunate in so many ways and, even when beauty is not outside the window as summer wanes and the weather is crappy, there are special moments of beauty in and around the home - mine right now being the vase of sunflowers and chamomile here on the table, the stack of books and new magazines waiting to be read. . . . .taking me to another place and time hopefully, the bowl of fresh-picked tomatoes on the kitchen island awaiting just right recipe. None of these simple daily things are astounding, but all are joyful to me and remind me that I am one of the lucky ones during these hard times.
    Love your sunflower photos too - nature never lets us down when it comes to fields of flowers!
    Hang in there - hugs Mary

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  8. it seems indeed that the world has gone crazy. I follow the news but also protect myself from over dosis of sad things. The Finnish August is not beautiful right now: rain and stormy winds almost daily. But my family is beautiful. We could finally gather together last weekend to celebrate my December birthday! The rain did not allow eating on the terrace, but we all 17 managed to find seats indoors. Books and audiobooks help also to find a getaway from this mad world.

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  9. Fun to be able to enjoy a sunflower walk. We got the rain we wanted and a good dose of it. That was encouraging.

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  10. The American Gothic couple do look familiar. lol. Fashion the photo into a painting. I think it would cheer up any winter day. Your words place things in perspective that at this moment become the beauty in my world. Thank you

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  11. We so need the Beauty of Nature, at this Horrible World Time. Our Beloved Country is at the lowest point, in my long lifetime. And so much of the rest of the world, is engulfed in chaos and horror.

    We need to concentrate on our own Corner of the world, and the Natural Beauty to be found in it.

    Thank you for this lovely post.

    🌻🌼🌻🌼🌻

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  12. I am so thankful for the beauty in nature all around us. Looking at that momentarily takes the mind off all the trouble s we see and hear about.

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  13. Nature does he1p. I am gratefu1 that the bird virus that was threatening our song birds seems to have been contained. Today I just shut off the news. Somedays I have to. I. just. can't.

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  14. So much trouble and tragedy in the world and in the lives of friends. And yet there's beauty and quiet joy as well. It's such a mixture of both. Those are beautiful sunflowers. That pink-petalled one is different and quite lovely.

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  15. Love, love, love these delightful photos of your gorgeous family and yes, the sunflowers too.

    Have a wonderful rest of the week, Lorrie.

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  16. Lorrie, I love seeing sunflowers in walks and mazes. We have several here in Alberta. I don't understand the Afghanistan situation at all. Nature is a balm to the soul so outside I go. Thanks for sharing and have a great week. Sylvia D.

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  17. Your sunflower pictures are a great pick-me-up, Lorrie. I understand your feelings, which have been mine too this week. At time it seems overpowering, and I worry so much about my far off children and grandchildren. Your photos are so joyful, and I love the American Gothic pose. Nature is my go-to for lifting the mood, finding beauty in the flowers in our garden and the area around us. I made an effort to write a blog post, and find it a very useful way to focus. I am so sorry there are wildfires in your beautiful province.

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  18. Indeed, "beauty does not erase brokenness," but it calls us outside of ourselves and the confines of our power to control what is going on in the world. I am finding beauty in the beautiful, big limelight hydrangea that I can see from my living room and from my kitchen, in the rhythm of the seasons, in Scripture.

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  19. Good morning, Lorrie. Yes, our world is in such a sad state. Now, more than ever, we need beauty to uplift us and offer us promise of better days. I am also grateful to be tucked away in our small, but beautiful state. A day doesn't go by that I fail to offer my thanks. I am enjoying the birds at our feeder, our huge limelight hydrangea and many zinnias I planted late to enjoy this time of year. Wishing you a lovely day, Lorrie.

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  20. I really love sunflowers! Our wedding anniversary was last weekend. When we married, I carried sunflowers and we had bags of lavender on each table. Travel memories of Provence for me are special.
    Our province is burning up and our Covid numbers are soaring. I fear that we are not being careful enough about travel. I hope that we see an improvement soon.

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  21. Lorrie - the world is a stressful place right now. I am normally an extremely optimistic person, but even I have been depressed over the heat and smoke and overall culture in which we live. There has seemed to be no escape from it. Normally nature IS my escape, so if it is hot and smoky, where do I go? Having said that, we got some very good news in the last couple of weeks - our son landed a job in his field of nuclear engineering, and that brightened our world considerably.

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  22. I agree, the world is not in a good place at the moment.

    However, your lovely post of sunflowers and happy faces was perfect :)

    All the best Jan

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  23. Thank you for offering us a brief respite from the harsh realities of our current situation. Despite the neverending cycle of bad news, nature continues to bring us beauty.

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