Yesterday I drove by fields of sunflowers,
their happy faces tracking the constant sun.

All day, the stems, the east-facing halves,
grow and lengthen, bending their flower heads in time
with the westward-moving light.

All night, their west sides grow,
oscillating their heavy yellow faces back.
I envy the surety of sunflowers.

Their nights are free of guilty dreams.
They faithfully keep time,
their circadian rhythm turns them to the promise of sun
they never doubt will rise again.

Chaos does not occur to sunflowers.
Not a one casts an eye to the dark side of the sky,
crying out, I will go my own way.

Not a one sows a seed of discord,
makes choices,
suffers free will to fail and fail again.

The sun once lifted my darkness,
but now I shut my eyes.
Feeling the heavy weight of ripe experience,
I wallow in sleepless worry and do not turn any more.

My faith is shaken.

I am mired in the mud of my looping thoughts,
forgetting how to be governed by the ancient inheritance.
Then I remember.

Adult sunflowers stop sun-tracking, too.
Knowing that bees prefer the warmer flowers of morning,
they stay still, facing east.

They endure the long night,
waiting for sunrise
and the buzzing yellow and black pollinators
that freckle their faces with ripening seeds,
assuring tomorrow.

Sheryl Lain

Sheryl Lain

Sheryl and her husband Gayle have been married for over 50 years, 40 of them dealing with Gayle’s progressive multiple sclerosis. Gayle is a hero to his kids and grandkids, his friends and neighbors, and Sheryl is now, in her retirement, his full-time caregiver.

Read another of Sheryl’s posts, click here.

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