I took a friend out who needed someone to talk to, needed to laugh a bit. Maybe I needed that, too.
He chose the restaurant, taking us to a part of town that I was a bit concerned about at first. It’s an area that is coming back, as several parts of Birmingham are…but transition brings with it a mix of good and not so good in its beginnings.
He was excited to introduce me to this place that he had gone to many times with his partner of thirty one years, a partner he had lost to diabetes just over a year ago.
As we walked across the parking lot, I saw a row of giant sunflowers reaching almost to the roof of the building, all with flowers the size of large plates with happy bees enjoying them, all so beautiful against the blue sky…all alone, the only glimmer of color and joy growing in this seemingly rough part of town.
The restaurant, true to my dear friend’s words, was fabulous, and the conversation even better. The place had a quirky, fun vibe, and we were early, so we could talk and laugh before the crowds came. A healing balm to both of our hearts, I think.
As we left, I looked again at the sunflowers nodding their heads in the summer breeze. What a good reminder to look for beauty even in the ugly places, even in the people who are sometimes ugly in their actions.
Finding that little bit of beauty can make all the difference, lifting up our spirits and giving us hope that there is more to be found in the places we visit and in the people we encounter than might first meet the eye.
I’m going to make a point to look for those bright spots no matter what. How wonderful that we all have the power to choose the filter with which we view the world. Sometimes I forget that, but the sunflowers reminded me.
Such a gift.