My sister and I have always considered ourselves to be Sunflower Gals – even with all the moving around that we did while growing up, our home was always Kansas. From an early age I have always considered the sunflower to be a favorite flower; throughout the years I have collected many sunflower things and at times decorated with sunflowers (although all sunflower decor items are not equal and I can be a bit picky about what I use).
The sunflower was named the Kansas state flower in 1903:
This flower has to all Kansans a historic symbolism which speaks of frontier days, winding trails, pathless prairie and is full of the life and glory of the past, the pride of the present and richly emblematic of the majesty of the golden future, and is a flower which has given Kansas the world-wide name, ‘The Sunflower State.'”
Earlier this spring when Laura sounded the call for Rebuilding Greensburg – Block by Block I knew that was a “comfort knit” project that I needed to participate in. I dug into my stash and came up with the perfect yarn: Sunflowers that I had purchased from Cabin Cove Mercantile last summer. This was a thinner yarn, so I held it double and cast on in the Grandma’s Favorite pattern. The yarn knit up beautifully and the squares were so soft and squishy. In no time, 3 squares were complete. When I started the 4th square the yarn cake turned into a large knot. Since I had planned to knit more than 3 squares, a quick search on Etsy yielded another Sunflower inspired yarn from Laughing Rat Studios. The 5 additional squares I made with this yarn were a great simple knit when I needed some knitting to “slow down” from everything else going on over the last month.
While I was stateside and knitting on my sunflower yarn, my sister had the opportunity to go on a summer missions trip to Moldova – she was a chaperone for the church youth group. When I was home this past weekend, Rebecca showed me hundreds of pictures that she took on this life changing trip and told stories of her adventures – she also pulled together a highlights website. The group was involved in two camps while there – Rebecca was a part of the soccer camp. An unexpected highlight of the trip was the plethora of sunflower fields – did you know that Moldova produces a lot of sunflower oil? One afternoon her camp team was able to “frolic in the flowers” and captured some fun and beautiful pictures of the sunflowers.
Sunflowers mean many things…as I was pulling together this post, the one I found most appropriate was that it is a symbol of community – what appears to be a single bloom is multitude of little flowers grouped together. A single sunflower plant can grow and blossom; however, single stalks normally need some sort of stake/support as they grow tall. Sunflowers are much stronger when planted in a larger patch and can collectively hold each other up as they grow towards the sun. What a wonderful reminder for all of us – we can indeed “go it alone” but it is much easier to grow and bloom when you are part of a community!