Beneath the giant sunflowers

Give it a try, no matter how impossible things seem

Over the last few months, this empty lot in my neighborhood has transformed into a full-on community garden.

I’ve walked past it many times, observing from behind the chain-linked fence as it grew from a plot of cement and dirt into a garden with raised beds, mulch-filled paths, and colorful flowers, legumes, and gourds.

There’s a keypad on the gate, and the garden sits adjacent to a playground. I assumed it belonged to the school and was content to observe the changes from a distance. As the months passed, some of the rows of green grew taller and taller, erupting into brilliant sunflowers that towered over the rest of the plant kingdom.

One evening, as I was marveling the giant sunflowers, I thought about how nice it’d be to get closer and really take them in. Eying the keypad, I lifted my hand and placed it on the handle, expecting to hit resistance.

The gate swung open.


Excited, I stepped into the garden, waltzing through the rows of produce before standing beneath the sunflowers. It was awesome. I’d gone on the walk to get fresh air after a particularly unfocused, tiresome day, and this little adventure was just what I needed to restore a sense of wonder within me.

Like that keypad I encountered, there are times in life when opportunities seem just beyond our reach. We make ourselves content to observe from the sidelines. But sometimes all we need is to try that handle anyway. Why not? We may end up confirming our beliefs, or we just might end up on the other side, standing before something big and magnificent.