Metaphorical Sunflower

cat named mouse

Mouse *insisted* on being in the picture.

I planted an entire packet of sunflower seeds, but only one took hold. I’ve seen several fat  and happy squirrels around the ‘hood, so I’ve little doubt where they went. That said, I’m more interested in the lone survivor.

Thinking that the surviving plant needed company, I headed back the to garden center and bought six sunflower starters. For awhile the plants were all the same height, but at the three-foot mark, the starter plants set dozens of blooms. The lone survivor continued to grow.

Metaphorically speaking, I can relate. One summer in my middle-school years, I grew from average to tall and stayed that way.  Tall and skinny and very much in my own ‘shell’ I stood apart from the others. My pale English skin, tall carriage and bright hair were the antithesis of the California Girl. I was quiet, bookish, and painfully shy, and the occasional target of mean-spirited girls.

Today the surviving sunflower stands tall and straight. The proverbial late bloomer had her turn in the sun.  Large leaves attract birds of all stripes. Blooms attracted bees. Now laden with heavy seeds, those mischievous squirrels will be back, but guess what?  Times have changed.

This time, she’s ready.

alys and sunflower collage


12 thoughts on “Metaphorical Sunflower

  1. Wow! That looks like a weeping sunflower tree! One of a kind. Maybe it’ll make Guinness. Know how those girls can be. I was short, blond and busty but not in California. Didn’t fit anywhere. I said to heck with them. You’ve obviously shown them what for. They would probably kill for your looks now. Ha ha on them. 🙂 Mouse must think you are a kitty condo and your shoulder is the penthouse. My dog loved to ride on my shoulder but eventually got too large. She would retreat there any chance she could. I just love animals.


    • I love animals too, and this guy has me wrapped around his cute little paws. He is so funny. I can just picture your little dog riding on your shoulder.

      Short, blond and busty…sounds adorable to me. Thanks for the compliment, but I don’t think anyone’s going to self harm over my looks. LOL you made me giggle. Thanks, Marlene.


  2. My goodness, you, those sunflowers – and we mustn’t forget Mouse – all so beautiful! A wise woman once told me that ‘the beauty of youth fades fast if the heart is not golden’. Ain’t it grand when we grow into ourselves! Just love that Mouse and the way he [or she?] loves the camera! This lovely post has started my day beautifully!


  3. I just thought this was the most poignant and clever post my dear. You are beautiful in every way, those nasty girls would have their chins hanging open with envy. I can’t imagine how hard it was for you being teased or left out, I’m so sad to hear that. Boy did they miss out. I know I would have been crushed. I’m horrified at what I hear goes on with girls. The bullying can be vicious and unrelenting. I guess I was lucky to have 3 brothers, no one ever bullied me.
    I grew up in the Northeast end of town, that’s still where the most affordable housing in Edmonton is. The community is very ethnically diverse, mostly blue collar working folks like my dad was. It probably helped that all the parents knew each other and the several teachers and our principal lived on my block. It was a no brainer, no one had luxuries or fancy clothes. Nothing to brag about or rub in anyones face. I always think of bullies as spoilt kids, I don’t know if that’s the case.
    It’s so great you have Mouse as part of the family, he’s really something special. It’s obvious he thinks you are too. With Mighty Mouse on your shoulder you make quite the team. xoK


    • You are my number one cheerleader. How I wish we were besties in those days!

      I think the way your describe your community (with three brothers to back you up) made a world of difference. I’m happy to hear you were spared the ‘girl drama.’

      I remember chatting with my son’s teacher a few years ago (4th grade I think) and she said she had no boy bullies, but a real problem with the girls. Boys bully with their bodies, girls by exclusion.

      It was a relief to move to San Jose in 9th grade. Our community here is much as you describe your home town: ethnically and socially diverse.

      Thanks for your thoughtful comments. xox


  4. I wish we could have hung out, we’d been a dynamic duo for sure. There’s got to be some real penalties for bullying. Here, there is a ‘young offenders act’ protecting young people under 18 and too often they are not given strong enough deterrents. I saw a news program where a young offender was made to walk with a sandwich board up and down a main street in their town with a message saying he was a bully. I thought that was a clever judge.


    • Wow! Accountability. I like it.

      We are much more aware now then ever before, however, their are myriad new ways to bully through Twitter, Facebook, texting and the like. It’s a whole new world for young people trying to navigate through it all.


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