One of my goals for 2017 is to be more adventurous.

To clarify, I want to spend more time doing things I enjoy. I want quality time with friends, exploring my home state, seeing things that sound interesting, and doing more fun stuff. I don’t want life to pass me by too quickly to enjoy it, ya know?

In the past few weeks, I kept seeing friends post photos of the nearby sunflower fields. They’re not new; they’ve been around for a while. But I had no clue it existed until this year. They’re really beautiful.

Finally got to see the sunflower fields!

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Normally, I’d think, “That’s great but I’ve got too much to do here to go see them.”

Not this year!

I wanted to see them so badly that it became a NEED. So we drove out there this weekend to check it out. I’m so glad we did, even though the rain made most of the sunflowers look really pitiful.

The sunflowers were mostly bent over, looking pretty soggy when we got there.

But what I found most fascinating is the crowd that had gathered on the side of the road. Lots of other people had driven from all over to see the sunflowers, too. Everyone seemed so happy to be standing outside on a hot day, staring at flowers.

Especially staring at flowers that were no longer in their prime. Most of them looked pitiful. But here we were, sharing this experience, standing in awe of a sunflower field. Even the sad sunflowers seemed beautiful in that moment.

OK, there was one exception. A little boy was crying and seemed somewhat traumatized by the bees. He was totally pitiful. I felt pretty bad for the kid.

Bees have always made me happy, though. I think it’s because they remind me of my grandfather. He had a way with them. They’d rest on his hand, and he’d pet stroke them as if they had this mutual understanding, “Yeah, we’re cool.”

They’re such an incredible part of nature, and I get kind of sad when I think about how much trouble the bees are in today. I try to plant things in my garden that pollinators, like bees, will enjoy. (I’m no expert on the state of bees, but you should totally do some research and watch documentaries about it.)

It was truly beautiful to see so many bees flying around. They were going to town on those sunflowers! It’s a simple thing that made me really happy.

While standing in awe of this crowd, I kept wondering, “What makes this year different?” Why were so many people fascinated by the sunflower field? They all seemed so happy to be there, too.

I can’t figure it out.

But I don’t need to, either.

I’m incredibly grateful for the joy I discovered – and that’s enough for now.

What about you?

Have you been to the sunflower fields in North Carolina? What’d you think? How are you finding and incorporating little joys into your world these days? Use the comments to share what’s on your mind. I’d love to hear from you.