Lean on me,

Lean on eachother.

Two days ago, after one of them snapped in two and in the absence of sufficiently tall canes, we put a long bit of string right round all of the sunflowers. It looks terrible but was necessary.

I hated looking at the broken sunflower and felt relief when I saw the rest would be fine, now that they were all supporting each other.

How many feel that they have been struggling to stand alone over the past year and a half? How many have been snapped in two? For some without families or adequate medical support, the only place they were beside someone, if ever, would have been in a socially distanced queue. The only time they were doing something with someone else would have been the NHS clap across the driveway, or the swift handover of groceries with the Tesco driver.

Hugs and handshakes are long gone.

Many have not been touched by anyone apart from the person giving them the vaccine. Mourners have lined the roads, unable to get properly close to the grieving.

My mum and I have been counting the days until we can hug again. The finish line on that one is still retreating into the distance.

This month I have been filling out forms to justify my need for disability support. One of the questions is, ‘in minutes, how long can you walk alone, without aids?’ The honest answer is, I can’t go anywhere without help.

We all need our fellow sunflowers to lean on. What I love about that image is: the weakest ones are holding up the strongest.

That’s the wonder of community; even the most broken and unattractive can be pulled into a circle of mutual support so that they can each play their part in strengthening the ones beside them. It becomes difficult to pick out the ‘best’ because they are all so close together.

Who are you standing beside right now? Is there anyone who is broken and needs lifted up? Anyone by themselves? Remember however weak you feel, you can help someone else if you can only have the courage to get alongside them.

We’re all sunflowers after all.

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