DDOP-1603-August Break-Yellow

Yellow Sunflowers


Yellow has never been my favorite color. I know it’s supposed to be a happy color, and I’m told it really warms up kitchens, especially, but I’ve never been fond of it. It might be because I have just enough olive in my skin tone that, with the exception of icy pastel yellow – the color of lemon sorbet – yellow clothing makes me look really sallow.

Even jaundiced.

I just don’t think the dying-of-scurvy look is that attractive.

But there are some yellow things I really appreciate.

I like the rich, saturated Tuscan yellow of the walls of my dining room.

I like the way lemons even smell yellow, and I especially like the way a bowl of lemons looks when it’s sitting out on the counter.

And I love sunflowers.

I’ve always loved sunflowers.

I’m an August Leo, so my birth flower (yes, that’s a thing) is the poppy. Actually there are two birth flowers for August: poppies and gladiolus. Now, I like both of those. I specially love buying tall stalks of glads for this ridiculously tall turquoise glass vase that lives in the Word Lounge.

But if it were up to me, the official birth flower for August would be the sunflower.

I mean, really, what could be more appropriate? Sunflowers are bright and cheerful – exactly what you need to chase away the deep summer doldrums. They follow the sun worshipfully, and, let’s face it, there isn’t a single Leo out there who doesn’t appreciate a little bit of worship from time to time.

But most of all, I like them because as far as flowers go, sunflowers, the classic bright-yellow discs with the thick green stalks, are fairly egalitarian. I mean, think about it. Sunflowers grow wild in freeway medians and along fields, but they’re also grown purposefully, so that their seeds can be put to use.

Sunflowers can be planted and cultivated, but they’re just as likely to spring up naturally. My grandfather once had a healthy crop of them spring into being in his compost heap, which we all thought was terribly funny at the time, though I don’t remember why.

A friend of mine has sunflowers growing in her front yard. Some years they’re more robust and more prolific than others, but in 2014 they were glorious and bountiful, and she brought me a bunch for my birthday, presented in a mason jar, which she apologized for, though honestly, I cannot imagine a more appropriate way to present them.

That mason jar full of sunflowers made me smile for days, until they finally faded away, as all flowers, and all summers do.

And sunflowers are the first thing I think of when I hear the word, ‘yellow.’

Well, that’s not entirely true.

The very first thing is the line from the first chapter of The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy, when Arthur Dent notices the bulldozer outside his house.

But sunflowers come right after.




  • The Bathtub Mermaid: Tales from the Tub is written and produced by Melissa A. Bartell, and is recorded and produced using the BossJock iPad app and Audacity.
  • Bathtub Mermaid album art was created by Rebecca Moran of Moran Media
  • Music used for the opening and closing is David Popper’s “Village Song” as performed by Cello Journey. This music came from the podsafe music archive at Mevio’s Music Alley, which site is now defunct.

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