Tanni for Danceof Chaos
Life has a funny way of racing past you. Sometimes, when you take a small break, look around and take a deep breath, you realise how the circle of life goes around and around. Every year, in the same spot in my balcony blooms the sunflower. Yet every year it is different, the world is different and so am I. As I clicked a selfie with my sunflower, I was musing on how things have changed ever since I started my gardening journey.
The first time I grew the sunflower successfully was in 2019, after a failed attempt the year before. I planted the seeds too late, so it only bloomed around mid-September. The air was already chilly and the sky was clear blue. The weather is Germany was calling for Durga ma to arrive. That was a year of happy changes for us.
Thanks to corona and the never-ending lockdown, we spent a lot of time at home. My husband started to help me in the garden enthusiastically. We expanded our garden to grow strawberries, marigold, peas, chilli, bell pepper, coriander and many more. That year there were not one or two sunflower but a bunch of them.
The first one bloomed around August and I was busy photographing every stage of the flower unfolding its petals. No sooner had the first one bloomed that the second one started. Then the third one and the fourth one and soon my balcony was laughing and smiling and blessing us with the sun.
The light and life of the flowers helped me through the grief of losing my grandmother and not able to see her one last time. Another lockdown had started. Little did I know I was already blessed with something else.
Bloom of 2021
A couple of months into 2021, we realized that our life is going to change for ever, that soon a tiny human will rule us. We were busy setting the blog up for the business, working on relaunching the website, launching the shop. That, our hectic work schedule and all the doctors appointments, preparing ourselves for the arrival of little K, meant the spring and summer months whooshed right past us and we were in August.
Since last year, my garden adventures have taken a step back. I have not stopped gardening, it gives me joy and calms me down but I have most definitely taken it down a few notches. I did plant sunflower seeds and this time they were the giant plants. I did not realize how gigantic they would be until the flower blossomed completely. It was nature’s work of art. I only managed to get one single flower and it brightened up my entire balcony. Around that time, my amazing tribe of girls decided to throw me a baby shower with theme of bee. There I was, bee queen, dressed in sunflower yellow, with baby K inside me, eighth month of gestation ongoing. That day has been one of my most precious memory. Not surprisingly, some real life bees made regular visits to my sunflower.
The life of this beautiful sunflower did end in tragedy. Our neighbourhood squirrels were eyeing her for a while and on a September morning, two of them came, jumped on the plant, and bit my beautiful flower off and ate her. I was just too slow and bulky to react. Then again, who am I to interrupt in how nature has organised everything. The flower was not just made for me to feast upon visually, was it?
My Parental leave
This year, 2022 has been different in many ways. I took a yearlong parental leave to care for baby K and resumed working from August. It was a long time off the usual hustle and bustle of life I have known for the last twelve years of my life. While managing household with a baby was definitely a challenge of its own, it also freed up my time to focus on the garden. The motto this year was also “less is more” . Additionally, I reorganised the entire house and the balcony to have more free moving space for me and for baby K.
I have never enjoyed a German summer so much as I did this year. Baby K has been around and cooperating so much that taking her out for walk, doing Yoga in balcony together has been a very destressing experience for me. Finally, after trying since I was pregnant, could I gear down my hectic life to a mindfully calm pace. It was not always so idyllic. Motherhood brings its own challenges, the lesser financial freedom, the pressure of being in charge of the householdChris, secretly was a little jealous. Now that I am working, and he is on parental leave, he lounges on balcony with baby K and I look at them from my home office table wistfully. I can do that; my table is opposite to our balcony.
My father came in March and with his help I could lay the groundwork for my minimized garden. You can read about it here. Maybe because baby K is so interested in colours and discovering the beauties of the world, I have added a lot of flowers in our garden. The sunflower still remains the queen. Taking lesson from last year, we grew her a little outside the pathway of the squirrels. I mean, nature will take her course but no need to make it quick.
Last week I took a picture with my sunflower. Soon enough, the digital memory was showing that I took a picture on the exact same day, one year back, wearing the exact same dress. Baby K was gestating within me last year. This year, baby K is crawling already and I had to pick her up to take a picture with her and sunflower. Who knows what next year will bring? Maybe baby K will lovingly stroke her flower sister. Or maybe when I am not looking, she would accomplish what the squirrels did last year. She does like the taste of soil very much already. So who knows, if she would not develop a taste of the sunflower petals and seeds too.
As summer gives way to chilly autumn days, the cycle of season repeats its endless journey, I grow a year older and wiser and be thankful for all the blessings that the sunflowers in my life have brought to me.