Toward the Morning Sun

Have you ever noticed that flowers (and other plants) turn their faces/leaves toward the morning sun?

I had, of course, observed as houseplants lean themselves and their foliage toward the sunshine coming into their window. But it had never occurred to me to ask which way the same plants leaned when their source of nourishment is not limited in radius. I guess I figured they just pointed up, or maybe (in the Northern hemisphere) South, to get the maximum amount of sunshine per day.

But they all face east. When my unstaked tomato plants got too big for their own strength, as one they flopped over to the east. A field of sunflowers points itself to the east. Why is that? I guess it is because they starve during the nighttime, and when morning comes, they are desperate. They swing themselves sun-ward as soon as the light appears, and are satiated before it changes position, so they don’t move again.

Is this like what we do every Sunday? Apart from Christ, our whole lives are nighttime, and while we live in this world nighttime is never killed. So we worship facing East, with the sunshine streaming in through stained glass, because we’re desperate for light.

Or something like that. Life goes in cycles in such a fashion… I turn to God, am filled with joy, then become complacent and stop following His lead. Then night comes and terrifies me, makes me cry out to Him, and when I see Him I turn to him desperately again.

Maybe it will always be this way, until the realm of eternal day.

3 thoughts on “Toward the Morning Sun

  1. I just finished reading “The Great Divorce” by Lewis and your post made me think of how the time in the heavenly lands is perpetually right before sunrise, while in Hell it is right before sunset…and there are some beautiful lines about the Final Day when the sun will rise, forever, in heaven and set, forever, in Hell. Pretty gripping stuff!


  2. This is a beautiful post. It reminds me of a book called Secrets of the Soil. (If you’re interested in growing food, I think you should get it.) In it, the author explains that in the morning when all of the songbirds sing their morning tunes, plants are encouraged to open up their pores. The author describes the pores as a way to communicate with the outside world, including other plants. It’s like the bird’s notes activate this communication. The plants exchange vapors with each other and take in nutrients from the soil, air, and give off excess nutrients in a breathing action. Nature is seriously incredible.


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