It was late summer of 1981, Move-In Day as a freshman in college. My mind was full of clutter…overflow of cars, people with fast shoes, boxes (lots of boxes), suitcases, unfamiliar faces with even more unfamiliar laughter, and broken pieces of conversation as strangers hurried past. My world was about to change when change wasn’t wanted as a part of my world. I was a simple, small town girl wanting to return to her small town world where the Annual Frontier Days Carnival Celebration was the highlight of the town.
For those of you who don’t know me well, I was a person of very few talents and even fewer dreams. I was a “here-and-now” kind of girl with an average life who seemed to blend into the background. I remember how my college dorm room reflected the average in my life…a simple wall hanging, average decor and a plain, simple square patterned quilt for the small twin size bed.
But, there was nothing average, plain or simple about the room across the hall and two doors down. I will never forget how my eyes fixed on this room, which seemed to reflect every color of the rainbow twice. In the far corner, so all could see, stood a tall, bright artificial sunflower. I had never seen anything so bright and energetic displayed in a bedroom. But then again, I had not been in very many bedrooms other than a handful of close friends and I don’t remember any rainbow reflections.
I was never into flowers much but if I had been, I think the Rose would have been my pick. Also, I was never aware of the beauty of the Sunflower until that very moment I nonchalantly walked down that college dorm hallway. Just a glimpse of its yellow brought a sense of happiness that seemed to be lacking. My step seemed higher and my outlook was more optimistic.
From the start, the Sunflower seed faces the rising sun in the east and with the proper soil, water and sunlight, will continue to grow facing the sun. Girasoli is the given name for the Sunflower, which in Italian, means “Turn to the Sun”.
I regret the fact that I never took the time to thank the girl across the hallway and two doors down nor did I know her name. By sharing this story, I hope you recognize the special people surrounding you that add the yellow in your life. Realize that with a strong foundation, a positive mind-set and enjoying the good that surrounds you; much like the Sunflower, you can live life looking upward toward the sun. Don’t miss the Sunflower Moments!
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