When Daddy was alive he loved to plant sunflower seeds and watch them grow into flowers. When he was pretty close to loosing his vision completely, he still enjoyed going outside to water and tend to his plants. We never planted any seeds at our house. Life happened and we got busy.
After Daddy passed away that summer we started noticing that sunflowers were sprouting up in various parts of the flower beds. It gave Earnie great pleasure to sit in her room by the window and look out to see a little piece of Daddy in the garden.
This year even more sunflowers came back. As I was standing in the backyard this morning while Ruthie, the wienerful, was taking care of business, I was looking at how scraggly the bushes had become and I thought to myself that I needed to probably cut them back. I was looking at the peripheral of the bushes, until my focus changed to what was on the flowers.
I’ve since learned (from my friend Becky) that the unfamiliar bird I saw was a black chickadee. He, along with a cardinal and a mockingbird, was scaling the flowers like a trapeze artist eating ants and sunflower seeds. It was such a beautiful site and one that was not lost in symbolism.
I have been missing Earnie so much lately. Some days it takes my breath away when I long for her hugs, or laughter or the feel of her hands in mine. Just as I feel overwhelmed by this sense of loss, I am reminded of her presence. It was no coincidence that all of her favorite birds were enjoying the bounty of Daddy’s flowers. The plant that I mistook as being spent and need of disposal served as a reminder that life can be ugly and messy. But if we just ride the ride, there will be days when God transforms the messiness into messages of beauty and hope. We just have to change our focus toward faith.