REST IN PARADISE: A Sunflower Project
‘Rest in Paradise’ is a sunflower project borne out of the love, respect, beauty, resourcefulness, resilience, laughter, light, and forgiveness, that our dear sister and friend Nokhanyo Mhlana has left for us as life lessons; lessons that have been perfectly embodied through dozens and dozens of sunflowers sent from Russia by our dear friend and sister, Lucy Goudie, for Nokhanyo’s memorial service. Those who were in attendance will know that the power of those sunflowers lay in the manner in which they reflected perfectly Nokhanyo’s personality and lifestyle: bright, harmonious, open, colourful, shining, sunny, beautiful, balanced, and hypnotic.
The symbolism of also remembering her through plants cannot be sufficiently emphasized. Nokhanyo was a mother of plants, she was a plant, she lived through plants, she healed through plants, and she communicated through them. Through her I learnt the love for gardening, the love for nurturing seed, watering it, and watching it grow. I was a student of patience through her, and she has not taken that lesson with her, but left it to me through plant/ing. She has imparted onto a lot of us the love for nature, for the outdoors, for the full interaction with plants and animals. Therefore, Rest in Paradise is a project that seeks to continue her legacy of playing and being at one with nature. More importantly, the project seeks to help us, through the memory of our sister, to stop in our busy lives and admire and engage with nature’s beauty.
In memorium of Nokhanyo’s sunflowery personality, I urge each and every one of you, with the dawn of spring, to stop, admire and engage the beauty of a sunflower. Rest in Paradise is a platform where I will receive your pictures of playing and bonding with sunflowers, in remembrance of a beautiful departed soul, and in reliving her values and principles towards Mother Nature. There is no guideline towards pictures with sunflowers, use your playfulness and let the spirit of the sunflower guide you. I have been doing so, and have posted a few samples of ones I’ve garnered so far.
On the 4th of January 2014, we would have all contributed to a perfect gift for Nokhanyo’s birthday, and the pictures will “go live” on the web (I will provide address), healing us with our own work over the next four months (4 months to the 4th). This birthday gift will be the first of many that we will all gather together and present to Dontsa and Hlalumi, when she has come of age. Let us heal together. Together we can look at Nokhanyo’s memories and life lessons as a plant that needs our constant nurturing, watering, pruning, and loving—the fruit of this plant shall blossom bright, and bring joy into our lives, like a sunflower.
“Flowers… are a proud assertion that a ray of beauty out values all the utilities of the world.” Ralph Waldo Emerson
REST IN PARADISE YOU QUEEN OF LIGHT!!
FOREVER IN OUR HEARTS
Thank you to you all who participated in this magical project that’s so close to my heart