A (Sunflower) Field of Dreams

We've embarked on our summer road trip and as of today, have been through four states, about to hit our fifth. We started in Wisconsin; hit a bit of traffic in Chicago, Illinois; saw Lake Erie from Indiana; and finally settled in Cleveland, Ohio. Before we started I didn't hold very high standards for Ohio (I'm sorry Ohioans!!). I just kept picturing long stretches of corn fields like we have in Wisconsin; I wasn't ready for beautiful and wild forests and a skyline reaching to the sky. 

The first place we stayed was Avon, Ohio and I felt like this town was putting on a show to make us want to stay forever. We drove past our hotel to explore a little bit and were greeted with a gorgeous sunset over the lake complete with a family of deer strolling through the neighborhood.

We also spotted a gorgeous sunflower field which I vowed to come back at sunrise. Setting my alarm for 6:45 I came back and only a handful of us waited for the sun to rise. You could hear people gasp as the first light hit the fields. I'd like to take a quick moment to point out the amazing and heartbreaking story behind this field.

It's called Maria's Field of Hope

"The Prayers from Maria Foundation first planted the Sunflower field in 2014 to gracefully draw attention to the lack of funding for childhood cancer.  The field was inspired by the memory and spirit of Maria McNamara, planted as a way to love and honor the courageous children who are battling cancer and those we have lost."

Walking around the field, you're reminded of every struggle a family has faced and every person a family has lost. Photos are sprinkled around the flowers and notes are tied to stems with wishes, prayers, and memories.

Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. All we can do is learn to swim.
— Vicki Harrison

I could've stayed there for hours.