Canada entered World War I as a colony and came out a nation…
– Bruce Hutchison, Canadian Journalist -
We’ve been to Europe a number of times. (I know that sounds like a big deal, but we were living in England at the time.) On one of our trips we visited a number of WWI cemeteries and monuments in Belgium and France. I was looking for a cemetery that contained soldiers who had died on the same day that my Grandpa’s brother, Henry, had been reported missing in battle. (Read In Flanders Fields for the story of my family in WWI.)
Near St. Julien we found the Canadian Memorial of The Brooding Soldier. The bowed head and shoulders of a Canadian soldier with folded hands resting on arms reversed was carved from an 11 metre high piece of granite. It appears to be meditating about the battle in which his comrades displayed such great valour – a battle where the Canadian, British and French Armies met an enemy that launched the first ever large-scale gas attack.
Each fall I am reminded of that visit to Brussels and the St. Julien Soldier when I see the drooping heads and leaves of my sunflowers. The first light dusting of snow makes the large flower head bend – a Brooding Sunflower.
A heavy frost assaults, but doesn’t quite kill.
But as the weather gets colder, the sunflower admits defeat. Winter wins another war.