Wednesday, September 6, 2023

A Harvest of Delight

Two or three times a day, they'll walk by the front of my house.  Different groups, but also the same.

A dad, his tiny daughter on his shoulders.  A mother and grandmother, three kids bundled into a wagon.  A mom, her little boy relaxed in a small folding stroller.

And when they pass the plot of sunflowers I've planted for years by the sidewalk, they'll stop.  It's a riot of life at this point in the season, dozens and dozens of flowers catching the light of our yellow star, perched above a dense thicket of stalks and tall grasses.  

Words will be exchanged, as the sun-golden blossoms peer down at them.  The children get out of strollers, or come down from shoulders.  The adults will point.  The little ones will look up.  From my window, I see them talking.

Grownups and small ones, talking and smiling, marveling at the absurdity of these impossible flowers, flowers taller than Mommy, taller than Daddy, beaming down in anthropomorphic beneficence.

I grow sunflowers for many reasons.  They're a beacon for pollinators, bright as a mountaintop signal fire, summoning and feeding the insects that will then collaterally pollinate my crop veggies.  They're perfect natural birdfeeders, drawing flickers and goldfinches.  They seedsave so very easily.

But perhaps my favorite part of growing them is that simple harvest of delight, those little faces looking up in wonder, the older faces looking down in pleasure at the joy of their children.

What better crop could one ask from a garden?