Simple gifts

I believe it was Helen Keller who said, “”Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do.” Helen Keller, of course, couldn’t see at all—at least not with her eyes. Still, it’s pretty good advice, don’t you think?

A field of sunflowers is uncommon in my little corner of the world. Imagine my surprise and delight when I discovered that hundreds of sunflowers had burst into full bloom in a nearby patch of  field,  little more than a stone’s throw from my house.

Everyday I see people of all ages stopping by to take pictures or just have a look as these wonderful flowers turn their faces to the sun. In fact, girasole, the Italian word for sunflower, and tournesol, the French word, mean exactly that: turned to the sun. The local restauranteur who planted the field hadn’t expected such an over-the-top response to something she thought would just be a fun thing to do. Even the local TV cameras showed up. Turns out that, without much expectation or even intent, she gave a fairly priceless gift to the whole community.

In a world that seems reliably crazier every day, the simplest gifts count the most.


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