The Star-Herald

The sunflower that rises above

For some time now, I have heard tales of the enchanting gentleman I am about to introduce you to.  He has been the best friend of the man I am going to marry for many years now, and I had the delightful experience of meeting him at last.  

We traveled to his home just last week, and to “ spice up” the experience, I also met his wife, someone I rapidly added to my list of splendid people.  Together, they opened up their hearts and their home.  

Slight in stature and sure of foot, this gentleman I am writing about moves through this world with grace and a sweet rhythm of his own.  His musical library is filled with variety and speaks to every genre. For many years, he worked as a chef, preparing food for many well-known music groups and individual performers. He has been featured in several magazines and has also appeared on various human-interest television programs within Maine.   He is a food artist; his canvas one of great accomplishment and inspiration. He is open-minded, explorative, and creative as he observes the world through intelligent eyes that do not hesitate to go past the monotony of every day life.  

Together, he and his beautiful wife owned a successful business specializing in succulent relishes and pickles.  Their slogan?  “The pickle with the tickle.”  

The four of us ventured to a vineyard, where we sipped on cider and consumed freshly baked doughnuts and whoopie pies. The main attraction was the sunset; a blaze of powdery pinks, milky blues and muted orange. We watched the sun bed itself down into the clouds, eventually and quite reluctantly reappearing for its grand finale.  Chilled by a persistent wind, we left the vineyard wrapped in long-sleeved shirts, thin jackets, wool capes and newly founded camaraderie. 

When it was time to say farewell, I found it difficult to leave.   How wondrous to be in such fine company: my true love and my new friends.  We parted with hugs, tears and promises to reconvene soon.  This whimsical, brilliant man I have described to you is a gift.  His soul sparkles much like the dusting of “bling” that lightly decorates his clothing.  

I feel his greatest accomplishment is his ability to rise above the mundane, for I believe it is acceptable to march to the tune of a different drum, my friends.  In a vast field of daisies, we must seek that occasional sunflower, nourishing its growth and individuality; encouraging it to reach its full potential.

Belinda Ouellette lives in Caribou with her Goldendoodle, Barney.  You may email her at

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