Tuesday, August 10, 2021

The Littlest Sunflower

The smallest sunflower in my modest golden stand of towering Helianthus stands barely at my knee. It's a fraction of the height of its siblings, a stunted little thing, the runt of the litter. It's had a different existence than the other flowers, which I know because I've watched them all grow.
It was one of the tallest plants as they initially surged upward, as tall as the eight foot giants whose flowers are set like great platters against the sky.
But then Bambi and his mom came and nibbled away a quarter of the stand. Most of the topped, beheaded plants withered. But this one and a few others rallied and sprouted anew from their wounds, pressing upwards. I sprayed repellent, but rains came, and nature took its course.
Deer being the hungry devils that they are, I woke one morning to find that the smaller plants had been devoured again, all their new green growth reduced to torn stumps. They withered.
This one, though? This littlest one? Devoured twice, it kept at it. Instead of one new stalk, it grew several, all of which are either now in flower or about to flower.
Sunflowers are simple living things, and not human persons. But being a human person and a living thing myself, I can't help but admire its gumption.