I have been watching them since i arrived, a several fields away. Every time i thought I would get the opportunity to go and see them something happened. We worked late, Pascale had some errand to run, the weather threatened rain, or there was just not enough time.
Still, they were there, not going anywhere, waiting till i got the chance to go and see them. We frequently went out in the car, to town, a concert, the market or to the mountains and I saw others in fields throughout the region and I got close, but that was in the car, always going somewhere, en route from one place to another, never for the purpose of a visit. Some that we passed were old and fading, heads facing the ground, disappointed that their time had passed. Others bright and new, rising up towards the sky, enjoying the sunshine and benefiting from the recent rains. There were plenty of them, I guess they like the climate here.
Finally, after nearly two weeks, i got the chance to stop and see them at close hand. It was Sunday, a day without work and Maylise had gone for an afternoon nap following an unusually large lunch with plenty of wine. Surprisingly for me I had plenty of energy, usually wine at lunchtime is more than enough encouragement to take a siesta. But not today. I took a bicycle and set off for an afternoon in the french countryside. Heading out and down the road, remembering to be on the correct side, more difficult on a bicycle than in a car, I took the route that I knew would take me passed their field. To the bottom of the valley, over a little bridge with a stream and turning right at the crossroads. About one hundred yards or so and there they were. I left the bicycle on the verge and went over to take a better look. They were magnificent, tall and proud. Amazingly all facing the same way, just as you see them in photographs, all in neat lines just as they had been sown. Some were taller than others, but on the whole, one huge, deep carpet of sunflowers. Vitalite. (for those of you that remember)