I cannot drive past a sunflower field without stopping. Mother Teresa said it best. “We need to find God, and he cannot be found in noise and restlessness. God is the friend of silence. See how nature – trees, flowers, grass- grows in silence; see the stars, the moon and the sun, how they move in silence… We need silence to be able to touch souls.”
I love color. I would say that my favorite color is yellow and I think it’s because it’s bright and cheerful. A sunflower field makes me think of a bunch of smiling faces looking at me. Today I stopped by the field a few times as the sun changed its angle so I could take photographs in different lighting. On my first stop, the farmer, who planted the field, and his wife were there cutting sunflowers to sell. I thanked him for planting the gorgeous field. I thanked him the last time he planted it too. I think he thinks I’m funny – to him it’s a means to make a living – to the rest of us it’s a field of sunshine. Each time I stopped by today I met someone new. Most people can’t drive by the field without stopping to soak up the beauty, take some photos and/or to buy some sunflowers. I met a sweet couple photographing the field, taking a leisurely walk and searching for the perfect sunflower to take home. Later, I met a family with two little girls, one of whom had me convinced that the field smelled like honey. It was fun watching them in awe of the gorgeous field at sunset. I think the world needs more sunflower fields. I will do my part by sharing the photos and I will keep stopping by until the last sunflower blooms.
I’ve always wanted to explore, or at least see Alaska. I did go to college for Wildlife Biology and although that is not the degree that I graduated with, it was not a lack of interest nor passion that made me switch majors. What I really wanted to be was a National Geographic Photographer, but exactly how was I to do that and have a family and be a wife/mom? So, especially because I was going to marry a pilot who would also be gone because of his career, I had to make a choice between struggling to do that and having and raising a family. I chose the latter and a career that would navigate me through the fjords of human emotion. Last week I was blessed to be able to take a cruise on a ship that navigated me through a fjord in Alaska and was blessed again with being able to experience the beauty that made me want to be a wildlife biologist. I saw whales and sea lions and seals and eagles, all in their natural habitat. I saw glaciers that came right down to the ocean or river and I saw a glacier calve in the silence of a fjord in the wee hours of the morning. Seals/sea lions were floating on little icebergs that broke off of the glacier. I saw unspoiled gorgeous landscape that can only be accessed by boat and/or plane. Some of this I captured in photos and some is only imprinted on my memory. I only saw a smidgen of Alaska and some of Seattle and Victoria, BC. I met some wonderful people and had the best time with the best traveling buddy ever. I learned about bible journaling and diving into the word of God with paint in hand. God painted this gorgeous world and it’s OK to paint gorgeous pages onto the Word of God! As a matter of fact, I’m sure that it makes him happy. So, here are a few photos that cannot begin to do the lovely works of God justice, but I continue to try! I look forward to keeping in touch with the wonderful people that I met on the cruise and delve more into the word of God in my journaling bible!
We all know how time flies, so, before long, this world of mine, of ours, here in Upstate NY, is going to turn to white and grey. If we are honest, and don’t like to ski, those two colors will last longer than we would really like them to. There is something about color, even if there isn’t any sunshine, that just makes my heart sing. It is well studied that colors effect our mood and even our physical reactions. For example, red increases heart rate and blue decreases heart rate. So, for now, until the colors of late summer and fall turn into white and grey, I’m going to soak up all of the color I possibly can. If I can help it, I will never let another year go by without planting a cutting garden. The colors are just spectacular.
This year I grew a cutting garden. Over 20 years ago when I lived in Maine, there was a small flower stand on the side of the road that wound through the Scarborough marshes. Everytime I passed by and sometimes when I would purposely drive out there, I would buy a boquet of flowers. I loved them. This is what inspired my own cutting garden 20+ years later. In my cutting garden I grew cornflowers of all colors, zinnias, Dahlias, baby’s breath, cosmos and Teddy Bear Sunflowers. The sunflowers are so fuzzy and small.
So I spent the gorgeous 64 degree morning in the sunflower field with a gazillion bumble bees fighting each other for pollen – my jeans are covered in it so there really is plenty to go around – but at least it kept them occupied and ignoring me! Some people paid the farmer to pick some for a wedding today – how amazing is that going to be?! When the farmer stopped by I thanked him for planting beauty and he probably thought I was silly because to him it’s just an organic crop of seeds that he will sell. He rotates his crop so he planted this year on the land next door to his and the man who owns the property gets to cut and sell some sunflowers from his driveway – today I will be buying a bunch – he was very careful about which ones to pick to ensure they will last a while. I chased an elusive monarch slowly through the field to capture a photo – and eventually just stood still and prayed and he came back to me and I did get that beautiful photo which I have to upload from my camera. I think it just may be my favorite photo of all time. Thank you Pete, the farmer, for planting beauty.