Saturday, August 31, 2013

Sunflower Season


August can be one of those unsung months of the year. Although the heat of summer is still very much present, the excitement associated with the start of the summer season has passed. Just the same, August brings uniquenesses of its own that mark the transition from summer to the beginnings of fall.

As August begins, the decrease in hours of daylight is becoming palpable. By the end of the month, the shortened hours of daylight are clearly evident. Although the daytime temperatures can still reach 90+ here in the Intermountain West, the mornings and evenings become cooler, a welcome transition after the peak heat that we experience in July. Another significant August transition is the subtle transition in the colors on the mountainsides. At the start of the month, the leaves are still the deep green of summer. As the month passes, some of the greens begin to lighten. By the end of the month, some very faint orange hues are present, heralding that the onset of fall is not far away.

One of my favorite sights during August is the preponderance of sunflowers that can be seen along the roadsides and in the wild; hence the title, Sunflower Season, for this posting. These flowers also are a marker of late summer and the transition to early fall. Because of the vacant lot behind our home, we have something of a backyard border of sunflowers. The goldfinches have been enjoying the seeds this season. On several occasions, we have disturbed a flock of them while passing by on an evening walk. A few weeks ago, some of the neighborhood girls set up sunflower stand. How could we resist?
The picture at the top of this posting is one of a sunflower table runner that I made last year and use during the months of August and September. It was a fun project that involved learning a "quilt as you go" technique as well as some handwork. Here is an up close image of one half of it that shows how the strips were attached as part of the "quilt as you go" process and then the appliqué shapes were added and hand embroidered.
As the seasons change, I am reminded of God's faithfulness in establishing the seasons and His promise that they will continue. As each of us experiences different seasons of life and challenges that may accompany them, we can rest assured in God's constancy and faithfulness. As Paul assures us about God's faithfulness,

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself. 2 Timothy 2:13  

This period of changing seasons also supports reflection on God's promise to Noah after the flood and the assurance that:

While the earth remains, 
Seedtime and harvest, 
And cold and heat, 
And summer and winter, 
And day and night
Shall not cease. 
Genesis 8:22