My love for sunflowers started when I was 8 years old. I saw one growing in the backyard. My mother said, “the seed must have followed the wind to our house.” I thought that was amazing; a sunflower seed flying in the wind and landing boldly in the center of our lawn. Throughout the summer, I saw its head raise to the sky and fall at night. I thought the sunflower was sad because the sun went away. This was hard for me to see: a bold, tall, and bright being with its head hung low.
The next week I sat at an art desk my mother bought me. I loved to draw and paint on the weekends when I wasn’t harassing my siblings. The sunflower with its head low was seared into my mind, into my heart. So I picked up my pencil and started sketching, and then I started painting. Mom walked past me after an hour and smiled.
“Why did you give the sunflower feet?” she asked. I picked up my paper with two sunflowers running toward the sun and walked to the window to look at the sunflower. Its head was high and its leaves dancing in the slight wind of the afternoon.
“This way it can chase the sun forever, mommy.” I laugh at this memory now. A child unknowingly drawing an image of herself.
Author and photo: M. Dels