sunflower

Joy Marshawn
The Leadership Journal by Butterfly Dreamz
3 min readJun 21, 2023

--

By Galiba Anjum for The Leadership Journal (p. 51)

The wind whispered my name as I walked through the vast field of flowers that were nowhere near-endless or golden as I chose to believe they were. The tall golden spheres offered a sense of security in burning shades of yellow and dark orange, as all four seasons splashed into one another; my choice of clothing seemed rational at this moment with different patches of colorful material that splash together like a mosaic.

I glided through the field, my golden cardigan flowing around me like a cape, as I slowly made my way higher and higher into the sky. I paused to take a deep breath and look around me. I watched nature come alive and untucked my lilac t-shirt from the confines of my jeans; I have no obligations here, I felt like a balloon that could fly away from my mind. I felt free, I felt strong, and I remembered how to find satisfaction in solitude and strength amidst a period of hardship. An eternity of memorable everyday moments had met up under gloriously ordinary circumstances; as I ran through the abyss of flowers, I thought about how my life looks through a foreign point of view — I hoped it looked like I had been painted into Sunflowers by Van Gogh himself. The sunflowers turned their faces to the sun and spelled my name, as if they had trusted their power and beauty to me.

The warmth of the sun and the flowers masked the blue sky in a gold hue. I crouched down to a smaller sunflower on the side of the road. In some ways it reminded me of myself, in a world of flowers that reached towards the sky. I sometimes felt small and stuck. Instead of landing my roots firmly in the soil, I had barely made it past the rough cement road. Despite its height and the dangers of someone stepping over it, the sunflower stood tall. I sighed as the sky above me darkened and the whispers of the winds turned into yells. For the slightest second, it seemed as if the sunflower sighed along with me; it was like it knew what was to come and the obstacles it would have to overcome. I stood up as my knees bent beneath me and I started walking away, throwing short glances over my shoulders every few seconds.

As I walked past the field I glanced back to the sea of sunflowers, my eyes gazed across the rolling clouds to where my sunflower stood. I turned to the wooden lodge house positioned perfectly outside the clean circular fence that kept the sunflowers safe and away from the rocky road. Sparing a few dollars dedicated to my hastily planned getaway trip, I bought a hand-painted charm of a sunflower. Although the piece could’ve been based on any of the thousands of sunflowers out there, I liked to think of it as that small, but strong sunflower I had seen earlier. I wished I could’ve plucked the flower from the ground and brought it back home, so it would be safe in my shirt pocket, shielded from the slashing rain and the howling winds. However, the courageousness the flower projected made me realize that it would be just fine.

I stand in front of my newly finished painting wearing the scent of early spring. I spin the remnants of my spontaneous sunflower trip years ago. The charm is the only thing that relates to my sunflower, yet I’m sure if I were to visit it today, tomorrow, or another few years later, it would still be standing tall. My heart has gained the same courage I discovered within the sunflower and found its passion, just like a sunflower that finds its way to the sun.

Illustration design by Galiba Anjum

The Leadership Journal is a youth-authored publication by Butterfly Dreamz, Inc. To learn more and support our work, visit butterflydreamz.org/books.

--

--