August is that odd month between the last of summer and the not yet of autumn
Tightly-wound rose blossoms have uncoiled with blossoms sprawling. Petals have dropped, carpeting brown mulch with vibrant splashes of color. Room is being made for one of this month’s standout plant performers.
Walking through my neighborhood a towering row of dark green leafy sentinels with swiveling heads greet me. A drip-irrigation system ensures adequate water to feed their voracious thirst in the August heat. During the day, these young sunflowers track the sun from east to west. At night they reset to face the east, awaiting the rising sun. They do so because during the day the east side of the stem elongates so it can face west, and at night the opposite happens so it can face east, ready for the dawn. Adult sunflowers settle down and face east continuously.
Young sunflowers by tracking the sun have greater biomass, making them hardier and more resilient than others. Eastward facing adult flowers are warmer, making them better at attracting pollinators. That warmth and eastward orientation means they are more efficient and effective at converting solar energy into power-packed seeds.
Consider the sunflower’s wisdom: even in its youth it follows the source of life-giving energy throughout the day, bending toward it. That consistent exertion makes it hardier for the future. Even at night when no sun is shining, it reorients itself in trust and hope of the coming day. In its maturity it reflects the warmth it receives, welcoming passersby with nectar for sugar and pollen for protein. In exchange, those pollinators convert flowers into heads with a 1000 to 1400 seeds!
What life-giving energy do you daily bend toward? How do you share that generosity with others and this community?
Rev Sybrant has a Masters in Divinity, Social Work, and a Doctor of Ministry. For more information, visit us at 15050 SW Weir Road. www.murrayhills.org | 503-524-5230