In the spring they came up out of the cold earth and warmed themselves in the sun. As other plants came out of the soil, they grew taller as in a race to reach the sky. By early summer some of them were over eight feet tall. They formed flowers that mimicked the sun in appearance. The petals were like the flames shooting out of the sun’s surface. They stood proud and tall, smiling as they surveyed their land.
The gardener took advantage of their tall sturdy stalks, planting his peas and beans so they could wrap their vines around their stems. Only the birds could reach up to the flowers. For the birds these flowers began to produce hundreds of seeds.
In the late summer a hard rain and strong winds broke most of the sunflowers. Their heads, heavy with ripe seeds were bowed to the ground, giving obeisance to their Creator, scattering their seeds upon the wet, warm ground. The bottoms of their broken stalks remained as supports for the legumes.
The gardener’s wife brings the most attractive sunflowers into the house and puts them into a vase. It is a mockery of their former radiant beauty. They are fading fast. They can hardly hold their heads up. In a day or two she will scrape their seeds onto a tray to dry them in the oven. What remains of the former garden beauty queens will be tossed out to the chickens or hogs.