If the disciple is advancing spiritually, he is striving to enter in. He constantly turns away from material sense, and looks towards the imperishable things of Spirit.
— Mary Baker Eddy

Sunflowers are my favorite flower, partly because they’re pretty and fun to grow, and partly because I love the spiritual implications of their growth habits.

Sunflowers have a curious tendency to thrive in areas that seem unfit for human habitation: blighted neighborhoods, harsh climates, industrial wastelands. I actually saw some growing in the middle of a toxic waste dump at a notorious Superfund site a few years ago, their stems as tall as a man and their unruly branches covered with a profusion of bright yellow blossoms with big dark centers.

Rather than letting the apparent barrenness of their surroundings distract them or interfere with their natural expression of growth and beauty, these dazzling wildflowers focus all their attention on the sun, following it through the day and waiting patiently through the night for it to return. Even when storms shove them over and bring them low, they continue to bloom, undaunted, constantly turning toward the light, constantly expressing Life and beauty to areas that desperately need it.

I have lessons to learn from sunflowers….


P.S.: I shot the photo above on Route 66 near Tucumcari during our recent trip to New Mexico. The oddly shaped mesa in the background is Tucumcari Mountain.