I spent some time with my sunflowers this past Friday. I took their pictures and cut four flower heads for me and a friend from some of the plants that toppled over due to their height, weight and the wind. The sunflowers grew very tall this year...I'd say they average 12 feet! I planted seeds in the old chicken yard so I'm sure that the nutritious chicken compost was the magic trick.
I've always had an affinity for sunflowers, like their plant spirit and my spirit have something in common. They have a lot to teach me as I watch them grow, move, follow the sun, ripen and provide seeds for the birds and animals.
The word that came to mind as I admired and thought about my sunflowers the other day was submission. This time of year the heavy flower heads, full with developing seeds, weigh down and make the plants appear to bow in reverence, bow in their majesty and humility alike, and bow in loving submission to their cellular knowledge that there is a greater power.
Their tall shrouded figures stand like wise women in my garden and bow gracefully to the reality that they are maturing and summer is coming to an end. Time is moving onward in the cycle.
The sun rules the sun flower. I love watching the sun and sunflower dance throughout the day as the flower head reaches for, faces and follows the arc of the sun moving through the sky. The sunflower is graceful in it's dance with the sun as it sways, turns and bows through it's life with truthful expression. This is a beautiful submission.
What does submission mean? The sunflower teaches me a pure meaning of this word. This meaning is not about one's will over another. It's not about abuse of authority. It's not about renouncing one's pure essence or expression for the sake of another. This idea of submission, after watching the sunflower, is about submitting to the divine. The sunflower is comfortable and confident in it's growth from a seed to grow tall and strong, sway in the wind, follow the trajectory movement of the sun and blossom into a cheerful bright yellow (or red or orange depending on the variety) flower.
What does it mean to gracefully submit? The sunflower trusts in the sun, in the rain, in the earth and submits to the flow of its life expression. It doesn't control a thing. It doesn't have an agenda. It is not impatient. The sunflower doesn't need to do any of those things and doesn't try to. It is what it is and oh, what a beautiful, strong presence it has in the garden.
In this time of personal growth, I look to the sunflower as an ally. I need to trust, be patient, grow strong roots, stand tall, sway in the wind and grow towards the sun. I need to submit gracefully and reverently with the knowledge that there is a greater power, a greater meaning and a greater mystery. I must dance with the divine as a partner and follow its lead.