Eagle of flowers! I see thee stand
And on the sun’s noon-glory gaze;
With eye like his, thy lids expand,
And fringe their disk with golden rays:
Though fix’d on earth, in darkness rooted there
Light is thy element, thy dwelling air
Thy prospect heaven.
~The Sunflower by James Montgomery, British editor and poet
The sunflower with its “gaudy crown of gold” courts the heavenly expanse in search of the sun. But is that iconic golden spectacle seeking to be prospered by the sun a single flower? No, each sunflower is actually a cluster of sometimes more than 2,000 small flowers all growing together to mimic the sun and harvest its light. Amazingly, at maturity some flower heads of the sunflower measure 2 feet across while the plants that hold them up sometimes grow as high as 18 feet. Henry Ward Beecher additionally said all flowers “have an expression of countenance as much as men or animals. Some of them seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest, and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower. . .” I agree and adore the plain honesty and uprightness of the sunflower, but in them I also see a touch of elegance in their statuesque stance in the landscape.
This is what the Lord says to me: “I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.” ~Isaiah 18:4 ✝