Friday, December 5, 2014

the sun flower...

the sun flower...

The end of the garden
belonged to the sunflowers,
sedulously drawing
the sun’s power inward,
and rising above him/her
who bound them to poles...

The end of the summer
belonged to sunflowers,
languidly casting
downward their haloed heads -
the Crucifixion of a season
offering... the feast...
          Sally Belenardo, From “Jacob’s Garden”

Leaving the restaurant, holding her wing-like arm, I just want to get my ninety-one year old mother to the car without her falling. Yet stepping gingerly off the last step, she stops with surprising strength, jerking me to a halt. I look down at her. She was inch shorter, now she is a foot shorter. Her gnarled spine cast her face to the ground. In her younger years she encouraged me to “put your shoulders back and stand up straight”-- as she carried herself.

About to urge her toward the car, thankfully, I begin to recognize she is meeting with an old friend too seldom seen. How beautiful to watch her raise blind eyes to the September sun.  Like an enchanted sunflower, she stands “sedulously drawing the sun’s power inward.” Long, deep breaths. I hear the raspy inhale. Then another and another.

People keep passing us on each side. She, who would be quick to step aside, ignores them. Her back pain should have propelled her toward the car several minutes ago. Yet, she is basking. The sun is lovely for her.  The “end of the summer” does truly belong to the sunflowers, “languidly casting...their haloed heads."  I cannot say,  “Let’s go Mother.” when she knows how to embrace the sun like this. And I wonder, who is embracing whom.

*written a year before my mother made her transition, her birthday would have been several days ago
Image source:  Artur Synenko -

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