In France the annual sunflower is known as Tournesol, or Turn to the Sun.  This is because every day it twists to follow the sun across the sky, from dawn to dusk.  According to Greek legend this devotion is yet again to do with unrequited love and bitter revenge.  Helios, the Greek god of the sun, was loved by Clytie who was spurned because Helios loved her sister who, in a very unsisterly way, she caused to be buried alive (are you keeping up?).  In her sorrow she was rooted to the spot and fated to watch the object of her desire as he crosses the sky every day (phew!). The next time you are en France and happen upon one of those dramatic fields of Helianthus annuus, grab yourself a deck chair (or Gallic equivalent) and a cup of tea (oGe) and sit and watch the wonderful sight of row upon row of these wannabe suns slowly but surely, in military precision, follow their leader.  In reality it is only the immature buds and leaves that move, once the flower matures it sets pointing towards the east.  This little sunflower, however, resolutely refuses to turn anything to the sun, preferring to gaze continually towards the sea.  Perhaps it is a Welsh sunflower longing for its homeland.



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3 responses to “Contrary

  1. mum

    As a Blog follower its nice to have you back. I do like sunflowers.

  2. There is something poignantly sad as the lonely sunflower gazes longingly across the sea. A bit like the sailor’s wife awaiting his return, but painfully aware his ship went down with all hands. I can’t be this morbid on a Friday and I know exactly what you mean about the French fields full of mini suns. Give her some companions next year!

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