Thursday, September 01, 2011
I have a friend who loves the sun. Whenever we go out for lunch or coffee in any weather that remotely feels warm, she insists on sitting outside and preferably in the sun.
I don't remember always loving to sit outside. But since I've been her friend...it's my first instinct, even when I'm not with her. I didn't know how much I loved being in the fresh air!
But I don't really love sitting directly in the sun (as much as I've learned to love sitting outside). She has lovely tanned skin...but I get a big ol' red sunburn if overexposed. So we usually have to compromise, and look for seats that are partially in the shade. She gets the sunny seat, I get the shady one.
In my garden, we are growing sunflowers. We've never grown them before. I am shocked at how tall they have gotten, and with no flowers yet! But yesterday, I saw this peeking out....
Yes, we are going to have some sunflowers. They are peeking out into the sun, seeking light. Each of these flowers is reaching as high as they can for the sunniest sun they can get.
I thought I was going to write a post about sunflowers and how they track the sun, facing their beautiful heads up toward the brightest spot. But instead, I read this on Wikipedia:
A common misconception is that sunflowers track the sun. In fact, mature flowerheads typically face east and do not move. The leaves and buds of young sunflowers do exhibit heliotropism (sun turning). Their orientation changes from east to west during the course of a day. The movements become a circadian response and when plants are rotated 180 degrees, the old response pattern is still followed for a few days, with leaf orientation changing from west to east instead. The leaf and flowerhead bud phototropism occurs while the leaf petioles and stems are still actively growing, but once mature, the movements stop.
Oh my goodness, there's so much to unpack in that - I feel a million sermons coming on! But seriously...they face east? It's just too perfect. Please, though, read through it all again. Young sunflowers move and learn a response pattern to move. But when they are mature (and have stopped growing) the movements stop.
Just like sunflowers, when we stop growing, we stop moving.
Just like sunflowers, we seek the sun when we are young but our instinct is to find a direction and face it once we are older and set in our ways.
Elul is here to remind us that we are not meant to be that way. We can and should find a way to move and redirect and find the light as it moves through our lives in different ways.
I'm so glad that my friend taught me to seek the sun, even at an age when perhaps I was ready to stay set in my ways. I am so glad that I am able to learn and grow and change.
Each day, each moment, I am ready to seek the sunshine.
Don't forget to check out some other people participating in #BlogElul - like...
JaneTheWriter (maybe, occasionally...but for today at least!)
Rabbi Rachel Gurevitz
Rhythm Guitar Rabbi
The Modern Rabbi
Rabbi Lisa Bellows
Who did I miss?
P.S. BlogElul is YOUR own thing...so don't get all hung up on blogging daily or whatever. Preparing for the holidays definitely falls into the category of "to each his/her own..."
And of course, don't forget the Jewels of Elul. If you're looking for inspiration for #BlogElul, each day they are posting a question. Why not answer it?