Monday, 13 September 2010


Look at this sunflower growing in my garden, isn’t it magnificent!

I didn’t plant it. And I didn’t plant any of the smaller, yet taller sunflowers wafting high above the weeds. It was the birds. They’ve scattered the seeds from the ‘wild bird mix’ all across the garden. Maybe it’s their way of saying they don’t like them. I can sympathise.

This one has been growing all summer. It’s obviously immune to slugs, and its stem withstands the wind by being thicker than all of my fingers put together. The bedraggled sweet-peas could have learnt a thing or two here.

“It’ll never flower’” I declared. “It’s too late, stupid thing.” I’m not so much of a ‘glass-half-full’ type, than a ‘glass-empty-because-I-drank-it-all-last-night-hence-the-headache’ person. But flower it did.

In the days leading up to my boy’s birthday, it unfurled its petals, and bared its soul to the sun. I admired it, and sobbed. The boy’s father brought me sunflowers the day after the boy was born, and he used to send sunflowers on the boy’s birthday until he got bored and toddled off into the wide blue yonder in search of a life more exciting.

The boy wondered why I was crying. I told him the story and I said “this year it’s the birds that have brought me sunflowers for your birthday.”

He didn’t flinch. He gave me a look of sympathy, and patted my arm. The boy knows; he knows it only too well: his mother is indeed certifiably insane.

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