October 17, 2018

“Can you remember a time when you experienced awe?”, asked my friend.

My heart jumped: “yes, of course.” The sunflowers.

As if on replay, my mind formed the image: my mother in her garden, her short frame delicate against towering sunflowers; their big bobble heads bouncing against the late summer sky. I was a kid and I was mesmerized.

These weren’t just plants — they were giants. There was a village of giants in my backyard, and my mother was their overall-clad keeper. It was a ragtag group of characters. There was a clique of perfect sunflowers with great posture (the snobs), a thicket of ragged and lumpy ones (the ogres), a lion with a big yellow mane (Simba from the Lion King), and a small peeking meerkat (Timon, his friend). My favourite was dumpy and stooped but had real character — a late era Marlon Brando, charming as ever.

Yellow, orange, lean, thick; I was in awe of them all. I would trace the spirals of their seeds and ponder how things so small could ever get so big.

Much later...

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