January 1st, 2005
I have proclaimed 2005 the year of the sunflower. It hit me towards the end of December exactly what sunflowers stand for and what they’re all about, and how I want to emulate them. I realized why, for so many years, the sun has played a huge role in my life and it sort of all came together in my mind this past week.
Multiple Sclerosis is a condition partially caused by Vitamin D deficiency. Vitamin D is “the sunshine vitamin”. There are now studies showing that women who are pregnant during the winter months in countries like Canada (therefore getting less sun) are more prone to have children that develop MS later in life (I fall into that category). Countries and regions that get less sun year round have much higher rates of MS (no one raised in Brazil or Africa has ever been diagnosed with MS, they’ve probably never even heard of it there!) Scotland has one of the highest occurrences of MS, and they are one dreary, cloudy and rainy country. (Edited to add… except now Shauna’s smile since getting engaged will light up all of Scotland!)
So there is that “lack of sunshine” connection with my health… I have been taking large doses of Vitamin D for years now, and try to get as much sun (but not heat, because that kills me… it’s tricky, but it can be done!) as I can in the summer months. I feel sooooo much better in the summer after even a few minutes of sitting in the sun… it makes me feel very alive. So, you could say, I seek out the sun. Just like a sunflower!
And then I can look around my apartment, and see all of the “sun” things I have collected over the years without really thinking about it… I’ve always just loved the look of the sun. I’ve got a wrought iron sun from Arizona hanging in my front entrance. I’ve got a HUGE ceramic and wrought iron sun hanging over my sofa in the living room. I’ve got three suns hanging on the wall in my dining room. I’ve got a tea light candle holder with a big blue glass/wrought iron sun face on top of my TV. It’s taken other people pointing it out to me over the years (”wow, you sure do love sun stuff”) that’s made me realize how much I love to surround myself with the sun. I remember on a whim ordering this T-shirt from Avon years ago, because it had a big sunflower on it and I just had to have it. I always just shrugged my shoulders and never thought anything of it.
Then I was listening to the radio a couple weeks ago, and they were talking about sunflowers. The way they stand tall and proud, and always find the sun. It doesn’t matter where they are, they find the sun and face that direction and reach up to it. And I thought… wow, we should ALL be that way! I looooooooove it, that is the metaphor to beat out all metaphors. I promptly ran out and bought myself a gorgeous 2005 sunflower calendar:
(which was 50% off two days later, but whatever)
and hung it on a wall in my office to remind me, every day, that no matter how bad things get… no matter how crappy I feel or what dire situation I think I’m in… the sun is out there, and I will find it.
I realized that as an adult, I have been consistently seeking out the sun, and now I know why… because I am a sunflower! Heh.
Oh, and please change your records to reflect the “sunflower” as my favourite flower, not a “rose” as I have always answered in those email quizzes that we send around to our friends. (Because I know ya’all still have them).
So, every time you see a sunflower, think of me. Every time you see sun or sunflower paraphernalia, buy it for me. Hee!
In 2005… stand tall and proud, and reach for the sun!