A friend of mine is quite ill at the moment, and she’s asked her community of healers and well-wishers to imagine a field of sunflowers as a place from which she can draw strength and healing energy. Many have sent her photographs of such fields; I chose to send a poem.
The greenery overhangs the fences,
the railings shielded behind lancet leaves;
each leaf absorbs sunlight and condenses
sugars into a stem of woody greaves
that reaches skyward to support a Sun.
Earth thus stretches upward to touch the sky,
and in this field, a nursery’s begun—
a nebula, from which new stars shall fly.
Broad the field where ten thousand new stars bloom,
each itself a sun—each a source of strength,
shining yellow even in twilight’s gloom,
facing the Sun across the meadow’s length.
no flower blocks light for another’s seeds—
but each spreads its shade to starve out all weeds.
I ask you, readers, to read this poem in particular aloud, to allow the shape of your breath to help you connect your breath temporarily to this image of the field of sunflowers, and to imagine that field as a place of health and healing.