Yellow is not my color. I don’t naturally gravitate to the sun. I am vertically challenged. You could say sunflowers are the opposite of me but yet, I can’t imagine a summer without being able to behold them.

This year I was later than normal planting sunflowers, having misplaced my harvested seeds and purchased seed packets only to lament whether to enter a store for replacements during those early days of COVID-19. It didn’t seem a necessary risk for something which felt non-essential.  Thankfully, a friend saved summer by dropping off a Ziploc bag of her own harvested seeds. 

Then there was a land disagreement.  One party wanted sunflowers to line the fence as usual and other parties disliked the disruption it created while shooting baskets. Truth be told, it was the gasps heard when a stray ball headed in the direction of the growing stalks that weren’t appreciated. 

 Finally, on May 12th, a compromise was reached and seeds were buried along a quarter of the fence.

The first flowers began to open last week. This year’s smaller patch of unknown seed varieties has proven to be a bit of a mystery.  It has been an unexpected gift mimicking this current time of so many unknowable answers and outcomes. 

I wanted to plant pre-determined sunflowers in a certain place at a specific time.
The seeds were lost or hidden, out of reach and conflicts arose creating delays.

When I walk outside, I could grumble that there are not more sunflowers. 

Or I can remember, there are sunflowers. 

I could look at the buttery yellow goodness of petals and murmur about missing Mexican sunflowers or Italian Whites, last year’s favorite.

Or I can remember, there are sunflowers. 

I could sigh about the flowers taking too long because I wanted to see blooms in July.

Maybe God knew I would need sunflowers more in August and September. 

Life has been increasingly pared-down to the bare minimums. It has made me appreciate simple pleasures rather than only finding satisfaction in an abundance of fluff. This row of beauty has made me think about what is essential for summer. If you have read this blog for any length of time, my must-haves won’t be surprising.

My summer essentials:

  • Sunflowers
  • Nasturtiums
  • Blueberries
  • Sun tea
  • Books
  • The ocean

With the exception of one, these are fairly simple needs to accomplish. I have jotted this list down in my somewhat abandoned planner (more on this reality, next week). I want to remember during an uncertain summer,
a season was bolstered by simple things.

Now it’s your turn, what would be on your summer essential list?
If you don’t know, there is nearly a month to explore and decide what are the make or break parts of summer for you. It’s not too late.

By determining the essentials, when unexpected fun arrives, it’s simply a wondrous overflow worthy of celebrating even more. 


May we be grateful for simple pleasures.

May we number our essentials and view each one as a blessing.

In the places we see only lack or loss, help us to see a different perspective. 

May the remaining days of summer bring every essential thing.

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