Arbor Lee


Mindful Field Notes is an online journal of writing and photography by Arbor Lee | Oh My Darling Days. 

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sunflower salutation


After several years of unsuccessfully trying to grow sunflowers, I finally got something right. Just before the final frost in April, I planted 4-inch seedlings that I sprouted in my kitchen window. Over the course of our rainiest month followed by extreme summer heat, I have been watching these mammoth sunflowers rise several inches a week. They are truly living up to their name. As of this photo, they are nearing 8 feet tall and have equally enormous buds ready to burst into bloom. 

Since the seedlings first peeked up through the soil, I have witnessed the glory of their daily ritual. Every morning I look out as they welcome the day, their heads lifted with hope towards the rising light of the sun. Each evening I return to see them poised in grateful bows as the sun meets the edge of the western sky. And in between are subtle shifts as they move with sun’s warming light, taking in the day with slow patience and with sweet devotion to their life-giving source. 

I am in awe of their strength, rooted and resilient and how they give as much as they gain. As I think about it, watching sunflowers has become my spiritual rhythm,  my sun salutation,  my daily prayer.