Against all odds, it bloomed.
Readers may remember the experimental sunflower I planted in October. With a milestone birthday looming two days after Thanksgiving, I wanted a living reminder that new growth can sprout and beauty can blossom in all seasons. So I planted the seed with a view toward a flower that would become an eye-catching focal point on my Thanksgiving table as a kind of late-bloomer’s success story.
Despite several episodes of early frost, drear weather, and--I must confess-- resulting neglect, I was encouraged by the little speck of yellow cheer I spotted from my sunroom window a week or two ago. Since then, I’ve focused on the little flower as a backyard sun burst in the midst of an unexpected patch of cloudy conditions, even as I anticipated it’s burst into full-on Thanksgiving bloom.
Closer inspection, however, revealed that this garden specimen did not emerge unscathed from the harsh conditions of it’s off-season development. It became apparent that perhaps this isn't a flower of centerpiece quality. At first brush, this fact might seem to validate the notion that growth is a springtime proposition—that color, strength and vitality are the domain of the early months.
I choose to remain encouraged by the little spark of life my experiment produced. In a sea of withering decay, my little flower stands--a rugged beauty capable of weathering the elements and blooming anyway, alone and alive.