I often feel that we walk through our lives like someone on ice, with an enormous different reality beneath what we can see. Hints gleam through and stop me. Some late afternoons, in the last hour of sunlight, when my heart is opened by a tower of clouds or a dramatic mountainside, it will feel like I'm flying on the roaring updraft from this furnace within. I will call at the top of my lungs, like a hawk, and I will know precisely where and who I am. Sometimes I recognize this inner power in the eyes and actions of others. Other times the hints are playful and teasing, like large orange koi in a pond, a fall of Ginkgo leaves on green grass, or the call of wood thrushes.
In Asheville, two weeks ago, we paid our usual visit to Thyme in the Garden and I caught several gleeful hints there. I tried, as I sometimes do, to capture them on film. It feels like photographing ghosts - the camera does not see what we do - but sometimes a glimmer makes it to the image. This shot does that for me. It's not the sunflower alone - it's the sunlit and dark grid against the bright blue sky, the oversize green leaves, the particular tilt of the flower heads high above my own, the sunlit porch of the house in the background which reminds me of the back of my grandparents' house in Highland, NY where a wellspring of that inner furnace seemed to bubble up with childhood love and warmth. And describing this here makes me realize how unlikely you are to see the light burning through this image at me. The glory is encrypted and my heart's past holds the key to read it and let it roar through me. But I hope you have the same thing happen to you when the world touches the right combination in your own soul and wonder is released.