Sunflower…A Christmas Miracle.

This sunflower growing in my garden finally unfurled the last of its petals today. By the afternoon, it had turned its golden, yellow face towards the warm Australian sun, oblivious to the long and winding road which brought it here.

What it doesn’t know, is that it’s “grandparent” witnessed the shooting down of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 in the Ukraine, killing all 298 people onboard.

Moreover, this sunflower doesn’t know that an Australian journalist and photographer salvaged seeds from the crash site and brought them back to Australia. These seeds were cultivated in quarantine and their seeds were posted out to family and friends of the victims.

may your sunflowers bloom

A personal message from journalist Paul McGeogh & Kate Geraghty who sent me the sunflowers.

That’s why it’s extra special that the sunflowers are flowering for Christmas. It means so much!

How these seeds ended up in my garden is a long story, but I have been sharing their story on my blog. I have also taken the seedlings to local schools with a view of teaching the kids about compassion, kindness and how even the smallest acts of kindness can make a difference. I am a real believer in the strange, inexplicable love of a stranger. That as much as we expect our loved ones to be there in our hour of need, frequently we are touched by the love of a stranger who steps out of their comfort zone and is there for us. This is not so much heroism, and yet it is. We can all make a difference, no matter how small and seemingly insignificant we might feel. Every single one of us are movers and shakers, especially when we get together and the one becomes many.


What I particularly like about the sunflower story is that it perfectly illustrates that even in the depths of darkness and despair, even when the world seems swamped by violence, anger and hate there is still human kindness, love and compassion. There are still individuals who will stand up and be counted, even at the point of putting their own lives on the line.

That’s huge.

A few months ago, I received a request for sunflower seeds from a relative of the Malaysian pilot who was him in the attack. They’d lost their seeds when they moved and she was devastated and started search the web until she found me and the blog. That meant so much to me. I sent her 5 seeds and I hope they flourish. We’re keeping in touch.

I still have around 2o seeds which I’ll be planting shortly and I am doing my very best to produce plenty of seeds to take their message forward.

Although I didn’t know any of the people on board personally, I never want to forget them or what happened. Yet, I also remember how the love of two strangers reached out through the darkest of hours and gave love.

So, I will do what I can this Christmas to pass the message on.

xx Rowena



17 thoughts on “Sunflower…A Christmas Miracle.

  1. eloisedesousa

    Your message of love and the hope a stranger can give in the midst of the darkest hour really touched me. Praying for all those families touched by sadness at this time and like your sunflower seeds, I’m going to try to do more for those around me. πŸ’—

  2. Rowena Post author

    I’ve only managed a couple of classes and took in the seedlings. It is such a beautiful story of hope and the kindness of humanity. How have you been? I’ve been meaning to pop round as I hadn’t heard from you for awhile.
    We’ve been doing a fair bit of baking this week. My daughter has been making “gingerbread” houses using two Nice biscuits set up like a tent and then gluing lollies and cut up marshmallows on the white icing. They worked out really well. We’re going to be making Julie Goodwin’s gingerbread house recipe tomorrow so we could end up with the real thing.
    I’ve been joining in with the Friday Fictioneers and really enjoy it and still intend to do the Carrot Ranch each week but keep forgetting. I set this week’s flash in QLD and thought you might enjoy it:
    Thought you’d also enjoy reading about my daughter in the kitchen:
    Hope you and your family have a Merry Christmas and a wonderfilled New Year!
    xx Rowena

  3. Norah

    The little Nice gingerbread houses sound fun. Good luck with the “real” one!
    I wish you and your family a very happy Christmas also. I hope you find some time for rest and relaxation.
    Happy New Year!

  4. Rowena Post author

    Thanks, Roy. I am intending to write the full story and get back in touch with the journalist and photographer who sent me the seeds. I wanted them to know they’ve been making a difference.

  5. Rowena Post author

    Thanks very much, Norah. We’ve had a fairly quiet week. I took the kids to see Trolls and we all loved it. I found it very funny and I love animation. It’s usually so clever.
    BTW thought you’d appreciate that my daughter has painted my toenail rainbow colours for Christmas. it’s our holiday tradition…only two sleeps now til Christmas xx Ro

  6. New Journey

    Its beautiful, and what a ray of hope and love it projects up word…they are looking down upon your bloom and smiling knowing that they are not forgotten in all parts of the world….I can feel the love it emulates…..well done!!! Kat

  7. Charli Mills

    This is an amazing story, Rowena! So many times we see the world in the opposite direction, that everything is too big for us to do anything meaningful. And then something like seeds from a tragic event is the tiny thing we can do to connect with others, to connect with life. Wow. A Christmas miracle sunflower.

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