Sunflowers, My Daughters, Their Stories

I remember when I first heard the phrase “he’s one of the old ones” regarding a small child, as though some souls could harbor more depth, or a greater history, than others. Surely that’s mistaken, that our judgement is clouded by our own misperceptions.

With my own children this evening, I sat at the kitchen table while my older daughter ate a late dinner as she recounted her babysitting saga. She told us about teaching the little children to write their names. Laughing and talking about the various strands of our separate days, I marveled at how my girls look at their own unique worlds, laying all the manifold pieces of their lives – wonderful and mysterious and outrightly sad, too – in ways and patterns I hadn’t considered, not at all cliched but fresh and newly alive, as they create their own female stories.

The Sunflowers
by Mary Oliver

Come with me
into the field of sunflowers….

each of them, though it stands
in a crowd of many,
like a separate universe,
is lonely, the long work
of turning their lives
into a celebration
is not easy. Come

and let us talk with those modest faces,
the simple garments of leaves,
the coarse roots in the earth
so uprightly burning.


Photo by Molly S.

2 thoughts on “Sunflowers, My Daughters, Their Stories

  1. Just read this one today–two weeks after your post, but it’s one of my favorite blogs so far. It is surely an honor to behold our daughters as they engage in “the long work of turning their lives into a celebration.” Thanks.

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