19 08 2009

snflwrWhen we were in Nashville two weeks ago, there were three pretty sunflowers standing tall in a white vase on the dining room table.  Somewhere in the boxes and boxes of old slides that I have that are waiting to be digitized (yeah, right!) there is a great picture that I took in a huge field of sunflowers in Spain.  August – was their month to stand tall and shine.

Heliotropism is the word that describes how in a certain stage of their growth, the heads follow the sun from east to west each day – sun up and sun down…until a certain point in their maturing process when they “freeze” in the easterly direction.  In Spanish – they are called girasoles.  To girar is to turn around, to revolve, to spin – and sol means sun.  They turn to the sun.

I was running through the grocery store yesterday afternoon doing a final prep for a very special meal and grabbed a bunch.  I don’t normally buy flowers or plant for that matter because our stupid mouser seems to like to nibble on all things living – thus ruining arrangements, knocking over vases and generally wrecking havoc to beautiful split leaf philodendrons I bought to make my living room look exotic.  So much for that.

Yesterday there was a feast of Spanish tapas.  Membrillo (quince paste) and manchego cheese.  Tortilla.  Roasted red peppers in vinagrette.  Albondigas caseras (meatballs).  Two kinds of olives.  Paté.  A big fresh romaine salad with roma tomatoes.  Croquetas (little chicken and serrano ham fried nuggets of pure goodness).

It wasn’t what was ON the table that was so good.  It was WHO was around the table that made it such an occasion.  Six chairs were pulled up close.  Best Boy’s Mimi was finally here to experience what we call home.  Our table was complete with the exception of the awaited one in October.  Our hearts are full even as we enter into the week of memories of a year ago.  My head has been there most of the month as I remember the journey.

But the lovely little girasoles reminded me to keep looking at the Sun.  If my head is going to freeze – I want it to be head up and facing THAT direction.  Even after darkness – years and years of darkness and waiting – things can bloom.  There is life even after death.  Another August…another year…a new journey.