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Sunflowers spark hope for the new graduates

“Flowers have an expression of countenance as much as men and animals. Some seem to smile; some have a sad expression; some are pensive and diffident; others again are plain, honest and upright, like the broad-faced sunflower and the hollyhock.” ~ Henry Ward Beecher

Summer afternoon…oh the summer afternoon. I would rather have the summer heat than the winter cold.

It was the perfect time last April 7 to view the gorgeous and bold sunflowers at the UP Diliman campus, the place where my husband and I met 34 years ago ( You can read our love story.) I wore my pretty yellow sun hat to protect me from the scorching heat just so I won’t get a migraine.

Today, at the University of the Philippines, 3,998 graduates will be marching to receive their diplomas at the UP Diliman’s 101st general commencement exercises. They will pass through the “waysides on University Avenue as thousands of sunflowers—those huge, bright yellow blooms used to depict the sun—greet graduating students .” Graduation is not complete without the sunflowers.

The heat did not bother me that time. I recall Helen Keller quote about sunflowers. “Keep your face to the sunshine and you cannot see the shadow. It’s what sunflowers do. ”

The sunflowers with its bright yellow petals were stunning! It only blossoms on April just before the annual university graduation. Sunflowers spark hope for the new graduates. A subtle message seems to beckon graduates to look forward to a bright future.

I was fortunate enough to see the Sunflowers at its full bloom. Cars barely drove by the avenue. No security guards to bother us. The Sunflower heads gazed towards the oblation, as it worships the sun.

Light-enchanted sunflower, thou
Who gazest ever true and tender
On the sun’s revolving splendour.”
~ Pedro Calderon de la Barca

The bright, blooming sunflower heads , symbolic of the sun itself represents warmth, happiness and all things positive. The sunflower is the happiest flower of all and it gave such a cheerful atmosphere that sunny afternoon. It was a delight to just admire the scenery. I call out my husband to pose for me.

I discovered Sunflowers can be said to hold a very spiritual meaning. “The flowers appear to loyally and devoutly follow the course of the sun as it moves across the sky from the East to the West. In a spiritual sense, the sunflower is seen as a genuine follower of the sun. The sunflower will seek out the light, no matter how little light there is and hold their heads high in worship. Just like having a faith, these flowers are a symbol of constant, true and unswerving loyalty to something bigger and brighter than themselves.”

I like its symbolism of faith, loyalty and adoration. The idea that the sunflower follows the path of the sun all day means that it is seen as a symbol of unbending faith, loyalty and devoted love.

The sunflowers remind me of our love and devotion to each other. Yes, my husband just had to be in this photo he took of me.

sunflowers in UP Campus

Eagle of flowers! I see thee stand,
And on the sun’s noon-glory gaze:
With eye like his thy lids expand,
And fringe their disk with golden rays;
Though fix’d on earth, in darkness rooted there,
Light is thine element, thy dwelling air,
Thy prospect heaven.

So would mine eagle-soul descry,
Beyond the path where planets run,
The light of immortality,
The splendour of creation’s sun;
Though sprung from earth, and hast’ning to the tomb
In hope a flower of paradise to bloom,
I took to heaven.
(A sunflower poem by James Montgomery)

Image credit : here

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