Haven’t done one of these for a while.
Someone at work is growing beautiful black-eyed sunflowers. The photo doesn’t really do this sunflower justice but the centre of it is soft, velvety, like the eyes of a sweet little pup.
We are used to sunflowers being so bright, so cheery, so er, like the sun. This version is the more mature, more I’ve-left-all-that-extreme-cheeriness-behind-me version. It is the Catherine Deneuve of sunflowers.
For the longest time I had gone off sunflowers. I think it was the ubiquitous Van Gogh print that did it. It was in every student flat I visited in the eighties. Eventually I got sick of it being the only print to adorn the walls of my friends and dumped mine out in the laneway behind the flat I was living in.
When my neighbour across the hall invited me in for tea the following day there was the sunflower print on her kitchen wall as bold as brass. ‘Isn’t it gorgeous?’ she said. ‘I found it in the laneway. It’s as good as new.’
I swore off sunflowers forever at that point. Until I saw the one with ebony eyes and petals like a lion’s mane. It is a sunset flower rather than the sunrise suggested by its brighter sister.
Burnished with amber, it fills the room with a quiet warmth. Truly lifting the spirits.