Today, we’re going old school for the story behind the picture. There is still something magic about film and vintage cameras and tinkering in the darkroom until you get the perfect exposure.

Now, I’m not really a “big fan of the sunflowers,” as my son likes to say – they’re all stalk and leaves and look far better en mass in fields than they do on a singular basis. I was born in Kansas, so I feel I’ve earned the right to this opinion. My husband must have heard me mention my feelings about these flowers once and only heard a few select words. He reassembled them in his head and remembered them as “I was born in Kansas and I’m a big fan of sunflowers.” So imagine my complete lack of delight when he planted sunflower seeds. As a surprise. For me.

Me: “What on earth is that big gangly thing that’s sprouting in that pot on the deck?”
Marty: “It’s a sunflower! Don’t you love it?!”

I tried to kill it by sheer neglect, but those things are hardy. I grumbled about the unfortunate color combination of yellow and brown, which reminded me far too much of my Catholic high school uniform colors. Then, one day, I decided to have a closer look at the center, bearing the perfect mathematical spiral of Fibonacci’s Sequence, which is actually quite lovely.

I decided to make the photograph a little more magical than average. No color, a bit of hazy mist, and the focus on the miracle of nature’s perfect spiral.

Then, one day, I “forgot” to transplant it when it outgrew the planter on the deck. I pretended to be sad when it died, but now you all know the truth. At least we have this photograph to remember it by…

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