Seizing Opportunities

I’ve been walking my son to Kindergarten nearly every day for a month, and each morning, we pass by a lovely plot of sunflowers on our way to the school’s front door.

Every morning, I admire how tall and vibrant the sunflowers are, often remarking on them to my son (who is typically just eager to run around the flag pole a few steps away). I have been wanting to use my iPhone to get a picture of one flower in particular – it bends a little apart¬†¬†from the rest, almost like it’s reaching out to say “Hello!”

But I’ve been too self-conscious to take the picture with all the parents filing by on foot and in the drop-off lane.

Finally, last Friday, I took a picture. I just could not resist the cheery greeting; I could almost hear it singing to me, a morning trill to start the day.


Isn’t it gorgeous?! I take zero credit for any photographic genius here – the flower is doing all the work. It’s just so incredibly pretty.

Over the weekend, a weather system moved in from the Pacific Ocean, dumping inches and inches of water left over from Typhoon Pabuk. It rained and blustered and rained and blustered.

When I took my son to Kindergarten on Monday morning, this is what was left of the strong, cheery sunflowers:

crushed sunflowers

Judging by all the downed branches and water-logged yards in my neighborhood, I did not expect that the tiny grove of sunflowers had survived. But I was still sad to see my daily greeter felled. I was also very grateful to have captured its beauty while I could.

The experience made me think of how often in life “timing is everything.” It also made me think of seizing opportunities – despite intimidation or self-doubt – to capture beauty, make memories, see and learn something new. Chinese General Sun Tzu says in The Art of War: “Opportunities multiply as they are seized.” May we all be a little better at spotting opportunities – and seizing them.