Dave and I met and married in North Dakota, where we both attended Bible College. ’81 was our summer of love. Our first date was 5.26.81 and we married on 7.23.81.
The summers in North Dakota are spectacular. It is a shame you can’t bottle that. The sun takes almost forever to finally fall from the sky at night and is brilliant throughout the day. North Dakota is a little, plain, shall we say, in some ways? And flat. Conservative. And there are lots of white houses.
But one thing you see there that is better than anywhere else? Fields of sunflowers, faithfully and brilliantly holding their gorgeous yellow-orange heads high and seemingly following the sun. True. In the morning, their little faces facing east, then, operating in heliotropism, they would “follow the sun” until they were facing west by evening. Sometime during the night, in anticipation of the next sunrise, they’d be facing east again. A wonder to behold!
I threw a few sunflower seeds in the yard this year and have watched over the past few weeks as the unblossomed buds have heliotroped about, back and forth, east to west, daily. But when the first 7-foot-high bloomer occured: nothing. Nada. It has faced the east and moved not one iota. “What is wrong, tall flower?” I’d ask. “Look this way, come on, look over here.” No response. It has fixed it’s gaze on my neightbor’s back porch and she rarely comes out. True, her overly-zealous, fence-jumping sprinklers do provide the needed waterings, which is why I decided to plant them in the awkward behind-the-pool space anyway. Still, I am being ignored in favor of a woman who does not care.
Dave asked me if I planted the seeds backwards. Har-dee-har-har.
In desperation, I Wikipedied this problem and am dismayed to learn that sunflowers in the blooming stage (maturity, it seems) are no longer heliotropic, but frozen in one direction, usually east, meaning all of my sunflowers will benefit some one else, as I will only get to gaze on their hinder parts. This is indeed disturbing and so unlike, I am quite certain, their North Dakato fields of cousins.