In search of the

A few weeks ago, my dad and I went to a farm and beheaded some sunflowers. I know that sounds strange. But, the pastor of his church had grown a huge field of sunflowers. In lieu of having the seed filled heads rot and go to waste, he offered collection of the fading blooms to others.

First, what a nice thing to do! Second, when my dad asked me if I would like to go and described the place where the field was located, I knew exactly where it was.

In an oddly ironic event, my husband and I had been for a leisurely drive and passed by this home with the magnificent sunflower patch earlier this year We had grown our own sunflowers from seeds that had dropped from our bird feeder in the back yard. Our plants were a wonderful surprise that we quickly transplanted to the front yard garden so they would receive optimum light. We delighted in watching goldfinches fly in and out of the blooms collecting seeds.

We also were more than a bit fascinated with the way these flowers continually turn their heads toward the Sun. Our front yard receives light from sunrise to sunset. So, in the morning, the flowers would turn to face the sun coming up and watch it all day until it finally sunk below the horizon. You could tell what time of day it was just by looking outside at the sunflowers to see which way they were looking.

If the heads were to the left, it was morning. Straight up and staring at the sky, it was nearly noon. Dropping to the right, then, we were in the midst of evening. Yes, something this small kept us entertained all summer. Who needs cable, right?

When we drove past the sunflower patch, all the flowers were staring straight up to the sky. We slowed down on the road (which was elevated above the patch) and marveled at them for a minute---long enough to admire but short enough to not be confused as potential stalkers by the homeowner. As we turned our attention back to the road, in unison, we declared, “We've got to get us one of those!”

It was one of those simple yet inspirational sights that is a rarity to behold. You have to stop and admire these things when you run across them, you know?

At any rate, when I put the dots together that the place my dad was talking about was the same place my husband and I ogled over the summer, I was all on board for collecting some faded blooms for seed.

What I didn't consider prior to running off with my father was the opportunity we would have to share some time with just us...Dad and Me. That, was a welcomed surprise as well!

My father and I are fairly close as far as father/daughter relationships go. But, it isn't one of those relationships where we spend an exorbitant amount of time on the phone or speaking directly. It is more like one of those friendships/kinships where the parties involved may not speak everyday but can pick right up on the conversation where it left off with ease. There is no participation worry that “he or she won't love me anymore if we aren't in constant contact.” The connection is just there. Naturally. I feel ridiculously blessed every time I think about it.

Even in my wilder more rebellious days (like as recent as a month ago—HA!), my dad would let me know that he was watching me from a distance even if I didn't know it. “I saw you out the other day. I couldn't get your attention, but when I saw you, it was confirmed to me that you were OK” or, he would call me and ask about things that I hadn't told him yet. He was always there, checking in on me even when I didn't know he was looking. Knowing that brings me a lot of comfort and stability.

The sunflower doesn't declare it's fascination with the sun out loud. It just quietly watches. Yet, as these flowers are in bloom, all the Sun has to do is shine down on the Earth and be greeted with all these lovelies staring right back at it.

I wonder if the Sun has bad humans. I wonder, if on those bad days, it looks back to Earth for the quiet warm admiration of the sunflowers which is consistently there.

On that same note, whenever I'm searching for truth, I consistently turn to my Father. Those are the days that I seek him out. He is like my own light of truth. And, like the Sun, he isn't always in my visible path. But, I always know he will return carrying the light of the truth with him. I know I can describe a situation to him and ask, “Am I wrong? Where am I messing up here?” and he will tell me gently enough that, even if the truth hurts, I still feel safe. It's wonderful thing.

My day with my dad collecting sunflowers was wonderful. I enjoyed spending some one on one time with him and was reminded of other times we've had the privilege of being together. I realized, at times, he functions in my life just like the Sun...capturing my attention and bringing me a guiding light. I like to think that I bring more illumination than darkness into his life as well. But, I try not to question it too much. I'd rather just enjoy the consistent warmth that he provides without fear that it will ever go away.

What do you search for? Where do you consistently turn your face for illumination and warmth? May we all find such a sunny place. What better time to find it, than Jupiter in Leo?

The Sun from the Tarot of Trees by Dana Driscoll