Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Brief History of Sunflowers

A couple of pictures from the vault today: the first Aimee and I took with sunflowers nearly thirteen years ago.

Aimee surrounded by the yellow blooms wearing her Sunflower Bike Shop t-shirt. How appropriate.


Yes, that's me, baby face and all, sniffing a sunflower. Look how non-grey my hair was back then. And no, sunflowers don't really have a lovely flower fragrance. To take the picture, Aimee asked me to climb a little mound and stand in the middle of the flowers. I paid for my compliance with tiny cuts and hives on my arms and legs. She framed my picture (the one above) and kept it on her nightstand until the day she died.

After that first adventure, we took family photos with sunflowers each year. Usually, we'd pose with random "dirt mound" flowers--the small ones from the pictures above which litter Kansas in late summer. A few times we found commercial fields of sunflowers, the big, fat-headed blooms harvested for seeds or floral arrangements. Sunflowers are stubborn plants, and the wild ones crop up anywhere they can find open soil.

Sunflowers held special meaning for us. I painted an arrangement of sunflowers for Aimee's wedding gift. When we honeymooned in Ireland and I started feeling a little homesick, Aimee found a flower shop in Cork and bought me a sunflower. The boys and I made her a triptych of flowers one year for Mothers' Day.

We'll take a family photo this fall, the boys and I in a cluster of yellow, and share memories of sunflowers past.

8 comments:

Daniel W. Powell said...

Beautiful recollection, Aaron. You guys have a very rich life out there on the plains...

Aaron Polson said...

Lawrence is in a good spot--some hills right at the edge of a deciduous forest zone. The plains roll on west of town. I love it--except for the mid/end of July through August. Hot, hot, hot and humid.

Daniel W. Powell said...

How would it do if KC took a direct nuke blast? In my WIP, I've set up a colony of survivors in KS...

Aaron Polson said...

The western part of the state (near the Colorado border) would work well. The population is very sparse with vast fields of mostly wheat, corn, milo... but very, very flat out there. The flint hills are pretty interesting: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flint_Hills Although none of the sites online really do the region justice. The hills are rather unique. Sounds like an interesting WIP.

Lane said...

You have the BEST traditions!

Aaron Polson said...

Lane - I've learned life is really about collecting experiences. Traditions help build the collection.

Danielle Ferries said...

Beautiful memories to help the healing.

Katey said...

I absolutely love sunflowers. There's something about them that always makes me smile. Seems to me they're natural bearers of beautiful memories that way. Thanks for letting us in on this, Aaron.