From my teenage years on, I have always been Sunflower girl. I loved sunflowers, and they matched my hippie phase so well! I had them everywhere: plastic sunflowers in my car, sunflowers sewed to my jeans, sunflowers embroidered onto my jeans, sunflowers in my little garden, sunflowers on paintings. Sunflowers e-very-where! And everybody knew it, too! I got sunflower birthday cards, sunflower perfume, and the guy I was very much in love with even crafted a sunflower pendant for me for my 19th birthday (only to then tell me that he thought I was really nice, but that unfortunately, he didn’t like me that way).
Before I went to university in England, my friend gave me a beautiful journal with sunflowers on it, so I could write about my London experience. And when I turned 26 in London, my new Dutch friend got me a cake with a sunflower on it. I loved all of it! You see, sunflowers are not just flowers, they are an attitude. Look at them! They are friendly, graceful, and they have their own personality.
And then came my brother’s funeral. Since it was September, a lot of folk brought sunflowers to put into the grave. And then, when the grave was filled up and closed, they put sunflowers on it. It was such a happy contradiction to the horror that had happened. And I put my sunflowers on the grave, too. His girlfriend at the time got a sunflower tattoo. And all of a sudden, my happy flower was linked to the funeral, to death.
The dragonflies took over. They replaced everything, and they became very important to me. I got a dragonfly tattoo, which I still love. People gave me dragonfly everything as presents. Dragonfly necklace, dragonfly ring. Dragonfly earrings, dragonfly pottery. Everything dragonfly, and I liked it. I still do! But then this happened:
For my recent 40th birthday, I got a beautiful birthday card from said Dutch friend. We rarely see each other, and sunflowers remind her of me! Then my friend Dani came to my birthday brunch and brought me an equally beautiful sunflower card. Inside she had written that sunflowers remind her of me and our friendship and strength.
I cried that night. I cried because I had forgotten and rejected my inner sunflower girl. And then I decided I can still be her. I AM her. I am digging her out again. My sunflower attitude must be there somewhere! I think it can go well with my dragonfly and tree attitudes… and whatever attitudes I have. I planted sunflowers on my balcony today. And I think I’ve got an idea for my next tattoo 🙂
Now, before we all go and enjoy this beautiful summery evening: could someone please count how many times I wrote “sunflower” in this post?