I am not a green thumb. The dead potplants in my office can attest to this. And even though we have a beautiful garden surrounding our house, unfortunately I can’t take credit (thank goodness my partner is a brilliant gardener!). When Juliet asked me if I would like some of Bryce Courtenay’s sunflower seeds, I was honoured but extremely nervous given my track record with plants.
Then I thought about what sunflowers symbolise. They mirror the sun with it’s bright shining light that nourishes every living creature and plant on earth, providing a valuable source of energy. Sunflowers stand tall, their happy yellow flowers swaying in the gentle breeze like sentinels guarding every creature in the garden. They are strong, beautiful, and for me, they represent friendship and a common purpose.
Although writing is a solitary affair it has given me the chance to meet amazing people who inspire on a daily basis. I consider Bryce’s sunflowers as representing the kinship of writers and readers—the support, inspiration, encouragement, and love—that brings people together. When I look at fields of sunflowers it reminds me of people who adore storytelling in all its forms. We stand together. We stand tall. We bring happiness with our words. We question. We debate. We invite discussions about life, love, the universe. We care about so many things and people. We are a community.
So when my children and I planted the very first seeds of Bryce’s, I hoped with all my heart that I would do his legacy justice. I sat down with my kidlets and talked about Bryce and all the wonderful books he’d written, how he’d helped so many people and what a kind and caring man he was. We then took our time planting the seeds and asked them to grow and bloom for us and for everyone who has been touched by Bryce’s generous soul.
When the first green leaf sprouted from the soil, I squealed with delight. Finally, I could kiss my atrocious track record with plants goodbye. Maybe all I needed was the right plant and the right reasons. All I needed was Bryce’s sunflowers, Juliet’s inspiration, and a flourishing community of readers and writers to turn tiny little seeds into flowers that bring so much joy.
You can find Alli at www.allisinclair.com