19 August 2007

genus Helianthus

There is just something about sunflowers that makes me want to smile.

Even when they've been pushed to the side of the table, to make room for the clutter of yesterday's hurried life: books, laptop, Rx bottles, the unread newspaper, work papers, bills....

...they sing 'Oh! Happy Day!', with a green stalk choir joining in harmony. The improbable petals, looking like wildly uncombed hair, lean and sway in all directions, inattentive to being out of scale with most of the world.

Can you imagine the reaction of pioneers crossing the Plains, encountering fields of these tall plants waving at them, their color-defining yellow petals outshining even the bright daylight of the Kansas sun? The flower may not have been unknown to them as it was cultivated in Europe beginning in the 1500s, but how could they not have smiled at the fields filled with these absurd-looking plants? They're mathmatically beautiful too with the florets arranged in successive spirals, the count, not surprisingly, Fibonacci numbers.

Maybe they aren't so absurdist. Still, they just make me smile. That my husband bought them on a whim for me yesterday at the market makes me smile too.

1 comment:

bloglily said...

How lovely Cam! I am a sunflower buyer -- every Wednesday at the farmer's market near my office I pick up the $2.50 bunch -- sometimes two or three of them. And they last forever and are so fun. I'm glad to know about the pioneers, by the way. It'll make my Wednesday purchase that much richer. xo, BL