As Henry VIII Would Tell You, Heavy Is the Head That Bears the Seed

My lad Paco is generally regarded as quite tall for his age. On more than one occasion, the drunken college students who rent the house behind us have tossed him their car keys and asked him to be their designated driver. As well, he could trounce all his fellow first-graders in a tetherball tournament, simply because he has the ability to keep the ball a’spinning far above each opponent’s reach. Even better, he’s tall enough to open the medicine cabinet and retrieve his own Valium when the world is too much with him (spelling lists have sent stronger kids straight to Oxycontin).

However, compared to what’s growing out back in the garden, Paco is Lilliputian.

We have cultivated a sunflower so prodigious, it can’t handle its own enormity.

My cousin had a breast reduction for the same reason.

For the last few weeks, I’ve been watching Sunny peak and then begin his gentle decline; briefly, he reached towards the sky, but all too quickly, his frame slanted into a gentle bend of abatement. He is a metaphor for so much, from midlife to sex to friendship to appetite to the new cast members of Dancing with the Stars.

Mostly, for me, Sunny is what he is, though: taking a bow at the end of another season.



By Jocelyn

There's this game put out by the American Girl company called "300 Wishes"--I really like playing it because then I get to marvel, "Wow, it's like I'm a real live American girl who has 300 wishes, and that doesn't suck, especially compared to being a dead one with none."


  1. We've got an eight-footer we had to lash to a trellis attached to the front of the house, and her head is bowed as well.

    Summer's going away, Joce! I don't think I can take it!!!


  2. ya know, with all the metaphors you mentioned and many you didn't combined with your new found appreciation for poetry, i bet you could come up with a kick ass ode to sunny. oh wait, i think you just did.

  3. Whenever you read a light-hearted article about certain mathematical laws — the Fibonacci sequence comes to mind — they are often illustrated with a photo of the seed head of the sunflower. I know the pattern of the seeds is somehow related to the math referenced in whatever article, but I have never quite figured out how. Get on that, would you, and explain it to me? kthxbai.

  4. Head bowed, just like your sunflower, I'm definitely in the autumn cycle of my sunflower years. Very interesting comparisons there -and a really great picture of the dowager queen sunflower too!

  5. "He is a metaphor for so much, from midlife to sex to friendship to appetite to the new cast members of Dancing with the Stars"

    Hahahaha. What fun it must have been to watch him grow. And how sad to see him take his bow. Loved the line about your son getting tossed the car keys. When he takes them up on their offer, you'll know you have entered a new phase.

  6. I saw: he is a metaphor for midlife sex which had me laughing out loud even though that's not what you said…

    I find my amusement how and where I can.

  7. My dad has huge sunflowers in his garden. They are all taller than me. Wait. Your son is taller than me. Most second graders are taller than me.

    Ugh. I'm depressed again. Gotta go. 🙂

  8. after the last post I cannot stop myself;

    Do not go gentle into that good night.
    Rage, rage against the dying of the light!

    I'm not ready for the end of summer!!

  9. I like that last idea best–taking a bow at the end of the season. Mine are bowing too–ready for me to chop their heads off and start drying them!!!

  10. I had a plumb tree once that couldn't handle it's own enormity. I also know this one girl who can't handle HER enormity, either. Poor thing is barely 100 pounds. Personally, I'm going to add to my enormity by having pie later.

  11. I loved the post, but sunflowers, like orchids give me the creeps for some reason. They're too animal like or something.

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