The following is from our Writers in the Grove member, Lorelle VanFossen, for our prompt-a-month series for July, based upon the prompt “garden.”
The petals radiated out in a burst of sunlight, yellow, softly moving in the breeze. A bee landed on the center, climbing around the pistil and stamens that would soon become the seeds I’d snack on over the winter. They were so good, my mouth watered.
The center pattern of the sunflower is considered by many to be a mathematical marvel. I find it hypnotizing. While many believe it is a helix pattern, I trace the Fibonacci sequence from the center, spiraling out, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, 34, 55…each number a sum of the previous two numbers. From the center, the future seeds curve curves out in two series, each winding in the opposite direction, stretching out to the very petals, each seed aligned with its neighbor, a mosaic found throughout history in the ancient tiled floors of the Byzantines, Romans, Greeks, and Moors. Or so my text books say.
The bee leaps off the flower as the wind tilts the flowery landscape, then returns, a black and yellow fuzzy creature crawling around the spiraling maze.
A thump on the ground next to me draws my attention back to earth. It’s my sister. She tugs on the soft green leaves of the plant. The bee loses its purchase and flies away.
She’s heard this before, and she never asks the obvious next question. She doesn’t care much about the world beyond her nose.
I have no answer for that. It’s a statement that stymies me every time. How could anyone be bored. There is so much to see, so much to do, so much to learn – even the flowers teach us math and pattern. To her, this is an old song. The responsibility of the world is to entertain her, and right now, we are failing her.
A hawk stabs the air with its cry. I lean back to see it circling overhead, lifting on the warm current. A small bird dives out of seemingly nowhere to jab at it, warning the giant predator that it has been seen and it is not wanted. I swap a mosquito buzzing around my ear and wish I could do the same to all the mosquitoes this time of year.
“Let’s do something,” she orders me. I think we are. Clearly, not enough for her. “There must be something for us to do around here.”
A chill runs up my spine. This was a warning sign. Trouble was ahead. A bored Cindy was a danger to all peaceful and good creatures.
Action was required. I stood up, dusting off the dry dirt and leaves from my backside. Without another person in sight, the job to entertain my sister and keep her and all around her from harm became my responsibility.
On my list of chores and things-to-do I found enjoyable were mucking out the barn, pulling weeds, refilling the horse trough, and checking on the chickens. None of these passed Cindy’s criteria for amusement. These were my times, time spent on repetitive tasks so ingrained, I moved through them without thinking, my find free to wander, explore, and revisit books and text books, absorbing and processing the lessons from school and all around me. She found these tasks, in her words, “utterly boring and mundane.” Big words for a little girl in a frilly white and yellow lace dress with sparkling silver shoes, a fashion statement at odds with the farm.
“Want me to push you on the swing?” The rubber spare tire swing hung sadly from the old pully pole on the barn.
“Nah, did that yesterday.”
“You seemed to enjoy it.”
“Yeah, but that was yesterday. It’s boring now.”
“We could go down to the pond and skip rocks.”
“It’s too far.”
“It’s a three minute walk.”
“I said it was too far.” (more…)