Friday, October 19, 2018

Sunflowers And Childlike Wonder

“If you will take any flower you please,
and look it over and turn it about...

and smell it and feel it and try to find out
all its secrets, not of flower only,

but of leaf, bud and stem as well,
you will discover many wonderful things.”

~ Gertrude Jekyll

Autumn with all its bounty of colour and beauty provides the perfect opportunity to take a little time to nourish our child-like sense of wonder.

I shall never forget the first time I paid attention to the back of a sunflower and realized it was fashioned as exquisitely as its front. Maybe even more so ... because of the unexpectedness that the back truly was as beautiful as the front. Oh my -- it makes me want to paint it, and I'm not a painter.

Have you ever let the tips of your fingers run along a sunflower's thick felt-like stem? Or stopped to smell its petals? You might not think it has a fragrance, but to my surprise and wonder the flower has a faint fragrance. And you know what? The petals smell like sunflower seeds. Of course they would ... duh !

Gertrude Jekyll knew that we would discover many wonderful things if we truly stopped to notice the details -- to see, to smell, to touch. I was happy to learn that Vincent Van Gogh believed similarly:

“It is looking at things for a long time that
ripens you and gives you a deeper meaning.”

Question of the day: Have you recently made a child-like discovery of wonder, something that you never noticed until now? I'd love to hear about it.

Wishing you glimpses of heaven in unexpected places!



  1. Beautiful pictures. Yes, I agree,the back side of many flowers is as beautiful as the front.

  2. Delightful post, Brenda!
    I remember being startled by the back of a sunflower a few years ago!(maybe even writing about it:)Zinnias are the same thing; stunning from every angle! I remember being mesmerized by the design of leaves on our cement garage floor after the salt from the vehicle created exquisite art! a popped milkweed pod, this afternoon I cracked dried pole-bean pods for the kiddos and inside were delightful pink and black 'jewels'/magic beans!

    May we never lose our sense of wonder as we catch glimpses of the amazing artist!

  3. Yes, that's so true! We only had one sunflower to sprout and grow tall and bloom from a seed dropped to the ground by a bird or chipmunk. Smack in the middle of a bed of small boxwoods and so late this summer that I wondered if it would even bloom. It did, one magnificent one and lots of tiny babies up and down the stem and it was right by a path so every day we stopped and examined it carefully, surprised by the beauty of it each step of the way towards blooming. And maybe because it was only one, it seemed like a gift, a miracle for our eyes.

    And then there's the miracle of the inside of my dachshund's ear....or as you so beautifully write, Brenda, a glimpse of heaven in unexpected places!

  4. Yes. It also involves a flower. I would not have noticed if I had not taken a macro shot of it.

    Writers get to sit and ponder, cogitate and dream. 🙂

  5. I have marveled over the sweet face, tiny fingers, and little tuft of hair atop the head of my baby grandson. Not sure if that meets the criteria of "something that you never noticed until now." But then again, maybe it does because this particular child is brand new. Babies are a wonder every single time!

  6. I have never really looked at the back of a amazing.

  7. wonderful thoughts, i've taken tons of photos of sunflowers but never checked out the back of one...will have to do that. i love taking photos because it reveals such beauty!

  8. Beautiful post, Brenda. The quote from Gertrude Jekyll has been a favorite of mine, along with so much of her writing. And the backs of sunflowers are so lovely. This post so reminds me of my mom, who was always asking me what I saw when we were in nature. But it also reminds me of the words from Henry David Thoreau, "It's not what you look at that matters, it's what you see."

    Thank you for another lovely post,sharing beauty. It truly makes our lives better.Have a lovely weekend, Bren.

  9. I spent a lot of time just gazing at my sunflowers this Summer. They are amazinngly complicated flowers if you look into them carefully.
    Thank you for your lovely photos.

  10. Blogger ate my comment. What I was telling was about looking at the star's at night, looking for constellations and planes blinking by.


  11. When I was young I'd sing Hymns, without knowing what they were. It wasn't until I was so much older when I realized how beautiful they are.
    Every once in awhile, when singing a Hymn, the song will hit me hard and tears will start to well-up. I'm always surprised, that I'm surprised!

  12. A few years ago I became enamored with the symmetry of dahlias. There are so many kinds of dahlias, but each one, whether pom poms, dinner plates, or cactus, has that same amazing symmetry.
    A beautiful post, Brenda, reminding us all to look intently at the world around us.

    On another less inspirational note, I've been struck by the appearance of wrinkles around my mouth and of their similarity to the ones around my mother's mouth. A fact of aging, and a bit unwelcome, to tell the truth. Perhaps some things are not worth paying attention to!

  13. I have been busy with family, and marveling at how wondrous grandchildren are and how marvelous our kids are. So deeply thankful.

  14. Dear Brenda - sunflowers have always been a favorite flower to paint. You are so right about the back. They stand so tall too which makes them appear very strong. I leave their flower heads remain standing so the finches and chicadees enjoy their seeds. It always make me smile to see a chickadee upside down selecting the perfect seed. That certainly brings me sheer joy. So does your blog too friend. Hugs!

  15. What beautiful pictures! They look like paintings!

  16. I didn't know that sunflowers have a scent and I've only seen them from the front. So I appreciate the back photos. Thank you for sharing!

  17. I love that Van Gogh quote, and am saving it! Thanks, Brenda, for being one who looks long at things.


To My Beautiful Readers,

Some people come into our lives, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never the same. ~ Franz Peter Schubert

Thank you so much for leaving your 'footprint' here in my comment box. I do appreciate you taking a moment to share your thoughts today.

Brenda xo