Over the years, many things may have changed, but this field of sunflowers remains. For me, sunflowers have become a symbol of my birthplace, Ukraine. Whenever we visited my grandmother in Ladyzhyn, we would make time to drive out to her hometown, a village only an hour away by car. On the way there we would pass a golden tapestry of flowers that stretched beyond what the eye could see. Some things fade in their brilliance over time, but this sight endured. Each time we drove past it, I felt that the colours had somehow grown brighter. In my memory the field is endless.
I have many fond memories from this road. I sat at the wheel of a car for the first time here. My grandfather’s 30 year old car had sputtered in indignation at my inexperienced hand on the gear shift, and the clutch fought me all the way, but I managed a solid fifty meters on this quiet back road. I remember when we would drive back to town and stop at a roadside well to fill up bottles because its water tasted like a fresh spring brook. In my mind, I can still imagine the rooftops and fields of the town spread out before us when we would pass over the last hill ridge before home.