Pandemic Pondering #128

Pondering on Sunflowers and wondering if I peaked in Cuba.I took this photo in 2016 in a Catholic Church in Havana, Cuba.Unusually for sunflowers I find this image melancholy and I love it all the more because it subverts the usual feelings evoked by sunflowers. I’m pretty certain I will never take a better photo of sunflowers. I should probably stop trying.This is another favourite, a sunflower next to a table light , artfully abstract, I like it but I don’t love it.Adoration, loyalty and longevity are the symbolic meanings attached to sunflowers in Western culture and in China good luck and lasting happiness .In Cuba, where my favourite picture was taken, the sunflower has a unique cultural significance. The sunflower is offered to the Virgin of Charity or Cachita as the mother of Jesus is informally known. Digging a little deeper the offering of sunflowers is a fascinating blend of worshipping girl power. In the Afro- Cuban belief system that is part of the Yoruba based religions, sunflowers are offered to Oshun who is an Orisha or spirit. She is a river goddess associated with divinity,feminity, fertility,beauty, freshwater, wealth and intimacy.The Virgin Mary in Cuba is habitually wearing a dress of sunflower yellow.Who knows why these flowers were left in a church, one of the many reasons I love this picture is the unpretentiousness of the bunch of flowers and that the imprint of the person who left them is still seen in the crumple of the newspaper used to wrap them.The blend of Christianity and Yoruba are held together in this simple bunch of flowers.The same theme can also be glanced in this Cuban dance.