He loved his garden. Every day he would always find the time to go in and look around. One day he realised something was lacking. His garden was lacking colour, none of the leaves and flowers were bright enough.
Without hesitation, he got a bag of sunflower seeds. He had always been fascinated with these flowers, but he had never found the time to plant them.
Excited, he didn’t bother going to the house, he went straight to the garden. He prepared the soil, applied fertiliser, then he gently planted the seeds. Weeks passed and every day he would go to the garden and look for seedlings. One day he came back from work, tired, and nearly forgot to go and check the garden.
Just before sunset, he found the strength to drag his body to the garden. To his astonishment, there in the dark fertile soil, he saw the first seed breaking through the soil. For a moment he forgot about his tiredness and threw his body on the ground to get a closer look. The dark-green seedling brought so much joy to him that he sang and danced his way back to the house.
Weeks passed and the other seeds were nowhere to be found.
The first seedling grew taller and stronger each day. He finally accepted that the other seeds were either infertile or they were not strong enough and got eaten by worms and other parasites. Spring came and the sunflower blossomed. He would stare at it for hours, admiring its beauty.
He would look at the yellow petals and how they glowed in the sun. He would touch the green, firm, straight stem. The sunflower was indeed beautiful. He couldn’t keep this beauty to himself, so he took as many pictures as he could and showed it to all those who were willing to look.
For one whole week he didn’t go to the garden, it seemed as if he had forgotten about the sunflower. With or without his presence the flower continued to flourish. The reason for his absence was that he recently found a new lady. He no longer had the free time he once had.
One day he showed up in the garden with garden scissors in his hand. He didn’t look happy at all, he was distraught and looked like someone who was contemplating murder.
He was going to cut the flower, the flower he had cared for all these months. The flower that gave him a sense of pride. He grabbed the stem towards him and before he could find the courage to cut it, he closed his eyes and smelt the flower for the last time. A piece of his heart fell as the stem of the flower broke in two.
With the sunflower in his hand, he couldn’t stop a tear from rolling down his cheek.
Then he smiled as he thought of Aphelele, his girlfriend. He realised he didn’t just end a life. Aphelele and the sunflower had so much in common, they were both survivors, their beauty was indescribable. They were both graceful and majestic.
As he closed the gate and headed towards the house to give the sunflower to Aphelele, he knew the sunflower would wither and die, but it would always live through her.
Tell us: What do you think of the story? What lessons did you take away from it?