The eternal, imperishable sunflower. It never  seems to die; it  just slowly withdraws and renounces centre stage. 

I’ve never met a sunflower I didn’t adore. Not only does their boundless energy and exuberant colour suggest indomitable optimism but they have a strong association with the master of all creativity, Vincent Van Gogh.

They congregate alone or in groups, standing tall and slender, their faces following the sun, backs to the shade. Who wouldn’t want to be a sunflower?

As if these qualities weren’t enough, when they have sung their song, they fade with dignity. It could convincingly be argued that their desiccated form is every bit as charming as that of their dewey heyday. I find it very difficult to cast them aside when spent and seem to have specimens dotted around the house in varying stages of decrepitude.

Gnarled and graceful in their elegant decline - not for them the untidy sprawl of a bank of sapless  daffodils. Nor will they drop their petals like the weary and disenchanted lily. They simply bow their heads, slowly and with humbling grace and await the inevitable.

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