Although you may be most familiar with sunflowers by crunching on the seeds, these flowers add sunshine wherever they turn up. I love to see them in gardens and indoors as cut flowers. They seem to have a universal appeal. Little children often draw or paint them, as did Van Gogh and other artists, and I find some to photograph every summer.
Although they appear to be simple flowers with a brown center and yellow petals they are actually quite complex. Technically they are classified as an inflorescence, which means the large flower is actually made up of many small flowers, or florets. The florets are arranged in interconnected spiral patterns that can be expressed in a mathematical formula.
They are native to the U.S. and south through Central America. The native people used them for food, oil, dyes and body paint, and medicinal ointments. More recently they helped with the cleanup at Chernobyl and Fukushima after the nuclear disasters. Here’s to sunflowers!
I’m always on the lookout for good quotations for my Happiness Cards. It’s a fun and relaxing activity to read the wise, inspiring and sometimes hilarious words from all kinds of people. I haven’t been surprised that well-known authors and world leaders are often quoted. But coaches?
Some of the best quotes I’ve found come from the late John Wooden of UCLA basketball fame. He was a wise and humble man who warned his players, “Talent is God-given. Be humble. Fame is man-given. Be grateful. Conceit is self-given. Be careful.” I could have saved myself hours of grief if I’d followed his admonition: “If you don’t have time to do it right when will you have time to do it over?”
Yogi Berra, coach of the NY Yankees, is almost as famous for his malapropisms as his coaching. His statement that, “Baseball is ninety percent mental, and the other half is physical,” is pretty typical. I’m not a sports fan, but even I’ve heard quotes by Vince Lombardi.
Sports lends itself to humorous observations. It was Erma Bombeck who wrote: “If a man watches three football games in a row he should be declared legally dead.” I can only imagine what her Sunday afternoons must have been like. Humorist, Dave Barry observed that, ”Skiing combines outdoor fun with knocking down trees with your face.”
Perhaps it’s not that surprising after all, that quotations from the world of coaching and sports are plentiful. Many games can be fashioned into metaphors for life. Coaches and players are given plenty of opportunity to spout off about the latest game and are heard by millions. Probably you and I say something memorable every now and then too, but who hears us?
Here’s your chance! Share your wise words in the Comment box.