A week or so before the sunflowers bloomed, friend Liz and I drove out to check on them. It was Sunday around 6:30 – kind of late for two old ladies like us. The sky hung with thick, fast moving clouds, black and rainy one minute, stark sunshiny the next. “Do you still want to go?” Liz said when I called her. “I guess,” I said. “You never know. It might clear up.” “Ok. I’ll meet you there.”
The rain came in bursts, the way it does in the summer, as I drove the county road that follows the no-mans land where Madison has yet to conquer the dwindling farm fields and small, muddy lakes. The towering clouds kept moving, and the distance between them grew wider, with more and more sun bursts as well. When we climbed the hill, Liz and I saw we were too early for sunflowers. Their green blossom heads still curled under, asleep at the top their rapidly growing stalks, not a glimmer of yellow in sight. The Queen Anne’s Lace following the edge of the field, though, sparkled with the prisms of countless raindrops captured in their flowers. We walked down the path, facing the sun, surrounded by diamonds of sunshine and white.
There was nothing to say. We knew what it meant. Things had cleared up, after all.