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Sunflowers and a Bowl of Fruit

I think I must be the last person on the face of this Earth to learn that the sunflower is the official flower of Ukraine.

I would still be in the dark if I hadn't noticed a picture of a sunflower posted at all the checkouts in Zehrs, Uxbridge. I knew there had to be a significance, but I'm embarrassed to admit I thought it was maybe the yellow and blue colours.

But I am less ignorant now!

The sunflower is, perhaps ironically, known as the peace flower and is/was grown extensively in Ukraine.

It's now become a symbol of resistance, unity, and hope, during the brutal war.

Interesting fact: sunflowers draw up metal toxins from the earth and help reduce environmental contamination.

They were used to extract cesium-137 and strontium-90 after the Chernobyl disaster.

It would be great if they could eat up the nasty, unwanted aggressors who have invaded Ukraine.

I'm planning on growing sunflowers - I hope you will too.

Now for a fun story that I wrote in ten minutes during an Uxbridge Writers' Circle meeting. There was a 'prompt' for this piece. It was a bowl of fruit, something like this:

Bowl of Fruit

Frank sat in front of the easel, disappointed. This is what he'd worked so hard for, saved his money for: another still-life painting class. He was sick and tired of sketching the shapes of pears, apples, oranges, cherries. It was always fruit. Why couldn't they be more imaginative?

He had dreamed of this day, when he would study art in Paris. The friends he left back at the Ontario College of Art had opened a few bottles of fizzy wine (couldn't afford the real stuff) to celebrate. Frank had been overjoyed that he'd been accepted into the prestigious Paris school, but he had to pay most of the cost himself. He didn't have a rich father or a wealthy aunt to fund his dream. He worked two part-time jobs and lived a careful, thrifty life in a bed-sit in Toronto until it was time to fly across the Atlantic.

But then to be greeted by what appeared to be the same bowl of fruit he'd drawn and painted two semesters ago, was a real downer.

The art master, Marcel, dressed in a suave, silk, purple shirt, descended upon him with what seemed like a sudden whoosh. Marcel stood back, moved forward, looked sideways, and sniffed. A few words in French, a few brushstrokes and a few colour mixes later, Frank gazed with astonishment. The bowl of fruit, although not completed, leapt off the canvas. The fruit looked good enough to eat, freshly picked off the tree, catching the sun's rays. Marcel had captured the patina of the skins, the textures.

Frank now understood he was going to learn a lot.

PS Update on Meg Sheppard Mystery Series, Draft #1 of 5th book: I am now on page 118, and have a feeling someone is about to be murdered. But I can never be sure!

Vicky Earle Copyright 2022

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18 mar 2022

Love this. I’ve been in a similar position after assuming I’d learn nothing. A great lesson in humility!

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