Waiting to Unfurl

I wasn’t sure what these plants were. All I knew was that there were three of them, and they were huge—well over six feet in height.

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Were they weeds? The insect-bitten leaves at the bottom of each stem had that weedy look. Or, perhaps these plants were something far more sinister, something along the lines of Invasion of the Body Snatchers. (Okay. I know the latter seems a long shot.)

As I passed the three every day on my way to my car, I kept a watchful eye out for alien pods ala Body Snatchers. But then one day, I saw this:

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Which turned into this:

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So, at last I knew what they were: sunflowers. Perhaps you already knew that, and are laughing at my ignorance right now. But today, the graceful unfurling of petals became even more pronounced as the flower heads turned toward the sun.

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I never realized sunflowers grew to such a height. Watching their heads unfold has been inspiring. Yet I can’t help thinking of my immediate, negative assumption that these plants were weeds. What a difference a blossoming flower makes. But why didn’t the thought that the plants were flowers ever cross my mind? I know you can’t answer that. Actually, I know this is the same short-sighted reasoning I employ whenever I declare that a piece of my writing is “bad” or “weedy” instead of “a flower waiting to unfurl.”

You know what? Instead of writing off something I’ve written as “bad,” I want to have the same patience with it that I had while I waited to see how the plants that roused my curiosity would turn out. I want to delight in the process of unfurling, to have all the confidence in the world that eventually, with hard work, it will turn out to be something beautiful.

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What the sunflower will grow up to look like

What’s waiting to unfurl in your life? Perhaps you question a piece of writing, a new direction, or a new relationship. I hope that before you consider chucking it, you’ll give it time to unfurl. It might surprise you.

Sunflower pictures by L. Marie. Invasion of the Body Snatchers poster from Pinterest. “Grown up sunflower” from Wikipedia.