Each summer for the past several years, there’s been an acre or two of brilliant sunflowers on the south side of busy Walnut Grove Road, at Shelby Farms Park. Each day this thick patch of dazzling bright golden faces and yellow halos, follow the blazing summer sunlight as it passes overhead, from east to west. The flowers seem to be greeting those Walnut Grove commuters headed west in the morning on their way to work; and then as the day goes on, they turn about and again face the weary travelers headed eastward towards home. For those who are paying attention, it’s a wonderful daily greeting to the new day, and a have a safe trip home nod from Mother Nature. But their all-too-brief appearance got me thinking about priorities.
Last summer I thought, I’ve got to get out there and take some pictures of those flowers. But, by the time I got around to doing it, sometime in September they were done for the year. They were colorless, and drooping to the ground, engulfed by weeds, and ignoring the passersby and the sun altogether. I made a mental note: get out there earlier next year. So, this is next year. However, each time I drove by the sunflowers, admiring their brilliance, I realized I had forgotten my camera, so I would think –be sure to bring your camera next time! Well, last week, was next time. But, alas, it was again too late. The flowers were mostly faded, wearily bent over and wilting; and the weeds were having the better of them, again.
So here it is: I’ll admit it, I’m a procrastinator. And missing the sunflowers for two consecutive years is but one example. Now at my age though, it seems to sting more than it used to. With that in mind, I’d like to be the voice to encourage younger people to get with it, to not waste time, to get it done. But the truth is, getting things done, is mostly wired individually within the nature of each person. A procrastinator, like me, may speed things up based upon a lesson learned, or by the admonition or encouragement of someone else, but they’ll likely continue to plod along at a slower pace than the super motivated people. And, I guess that’s okay. At my age, I may speed up getting to, or doing some things, with the clock ticking as it is, but I’m also just as likely to put some things on the back-burner that just don’t seem quite as important.
Again, at my age, I’m hoping that distinction in priorities is based on a gained wisdom. I mean, I hope I’m getting something out of living all these years, more than just thinning graying hair, wrinkles, and dark spots. I hope I’m learning what’s important, and what can wait a few days or weeks. Did I miss another chance to take pictures of the sunflowers? Yes. Will they, or I be there next year? I don’t know; but I do know, I got to hold my grandson Cooper yesterday, and we laughed and played together. I know I’m blessed with a wonderful family, from a loving wife who has been my biggest supporter and friend for over 30 years. I have amazing parents who have shown incredible faith, love, and charity to this day. I have children, including an awesome daughter-in-law, who I couldn’t be more proud of. And, have I mentioned Cooper…? And even on what would seem like a rather mundane level, I had a delicious breakfast this morning. On a sublime level first thing this morning, I engaged the Almighty in psalms, scripture and reflection. So, as far as missing those summer sunflowers …well, beautiful autumn colors are just ahead; I’ll try to get to work, staying focused on my blessings, and I’ll also try to remember to keep my camera handy.