Remona AlyThursday 19 July 2018 The Guardian, g2
The giant sunflower and childhood memories
Sunflowers and Santa Claus: Guardian writers on their first childhood memory
My illustrious moment of glory remains the time I was awarded the school prize for the tallest sunflower competition. All the rival kids in the Kent area were competing alongside me: the only brown girl in my working-class village primary school. I carried my sunflower seed home like it was a rare jewel, and planted the treasure with mum and dad. Every day for months, I watched, watered and waited for a miracle. It felt like for ever, but finally by late autumn my little seed had become a towering, beaming thing of beauty. I took my place next to its furry neck, which stretched to the heavens , ready for dad to take the photo, and hoped, prayed and begged for it to be a winner. At school, my jaw dropped on the assembly floor when my name was called out and I was presented with a tiny trophy no bigger than my hand. But I was off my head with joy. I’ve never been a winner again since, so the memory of the tallest sunflower, insignificant as it seems, still makes my heart shine.