by Carole Mertz
These sunflowers, living and growing, are stable. Mine were clipped, not
potted, and standing three feet tall, placed among nine more blooms in a tall
cerulean-blue ceramic. We’d stopped by a roadside popcorn stand. We two
couples sat on a bench beneath the canopy, the sunflowers adjacent. All of the
exuberance of fecund, flowery summer had reached its height that day. We
sat, munching the popcorn and reviewing the events of the wedding the
Dando’s acrylic captures more than the unrestrained joy we experienced. My
joy then was of the triumphant, exhilarated kind. At last the two were wedded,
my son and his bride. I thought my joy complete. I was wild with excitement.
Dando’s joy is exhilaration, too, but something’s added, something less
reckless than what I’d felt that day. Here, because of being rooted, are
sunflowers more reflective, making me see life needs be a combo of both the
wild and the tame, of unchecked joy and muted joy. I appreciate the contrasts
in mood but know I’m happiest when joy melds with the serene.
The wild sensations of that post-wedding day were fleeting. They played me
false; the lofty pleasures would not last. We bought two of the sunflowers at
the stand, wrapped them well, and carried them home across state lines on the
backseat of the car. They stood for a while, tall on the Steinway, stimulating
me to treasure the joys I knew would fade. They are replaced today by
Dando’s reflective sunbursts, reminding me of Life’s alternating tones and the
effects of being rooted.