390. what happens to sunflowers

the guru kept a sunflower in a pot on his desk.

every day, he watered her, made sure she had fresh air, and placed her in the sunbeam that poured through his office window. she would stare at the sun and smile.

but one day, the sunflower began to droop. the guru gave her water and fresh air and sunlight, but still she drooped. so he asked her, “sunflower, what is wrong?”

and she said, “you know what is wrong.”

“there must be something i can do.”

“you have already done so much.”

the next morning, no one smiled at the sun through the guru’s office window. and the guru’s heart felt like a rock sinking through the dark waters of the lake.

but that night, he had a dream.

in the dream, he was surrounded by millions of sunflowers, and they shone so bright the guru had to squint to see. but in the midst of the millions, he found his own, and he ran to her, saying, “sunflower, you’re okay!”

“guru, i am better than okay.”

“don’t you want to come home?”

and she smiled and said, “i am home.”

the guru did not understand, so she explained, “when a sunflower leaves your world, she returns to her own. and we live here together, shining down from our home on the sun.”

when the guru woke up, the sun shone through his bedroom window. he felt its warmth on his face, and he smiled and thought of his friend.