Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Things I Love

I've used this space lately to rant about several things about which I am not so fond these days. Grasshoppers. Summer heat. Congress.

If you didn't know me better, you might conclude that I am something of a hater, but nothing could be less true. There are dozens, nay, hundreds of things things that don't annoy me, and right in the middle of the cluster of Things I Love are sunflowers.

Did you hear the angels sing and the little birds in the trees clap their hands (wings?) at the mention of that word? I loooooove sunflowers. Love them. And I'm not one of those trendy folks who have come to loving sunflowers in the past few years when they have been country trendy or shabby chic. No, I've loved sunflowers since I first associated these sturdy blossoms with the onset of fall weather.

"Take heart!" they always seemed to say cheerfully. "We survived, and so did you!"

Husband and I spent part of the long weekend on the farm, and this is prime season for the wild sunflowers that grow in that part of the world. When we left for home it took us 40 minutes to drive the two miles along the gravel road that leads from Shady Oaks to the highway because every few yards I'd yell "Stop! Stop here! Those are the most perfect ones! I need to take a picture of THOSE EXACT SUNFLOWERS!"

I loved the ambitious clumps next to the big hay bales, which were attracting little yellow butterfly-like creatures that I've heard are actually the final life stage of some kind of devastating variety of cornworm  but looked beautiful as they fluttered and darted.

I loved the fields completely packed, fencerow to fencerow, with sunflowers growing wild and useful for nothing but beauty, and I loved the single stalk sturdily growing in the roadside gravel just because it could.

Even common weeds seemed uncommonly beautiful, as if they'd been posed at the edge of the cultivated field for my enjoyment.

The sunflowers were so cheerful, and the sky was so blue, and the noises around me were all about how much there is to love about where I live--who could hate?

Thanks, Kansas.

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