"There are thousands of flower, some are incomparably beautiful while some are astonishingly ugly. It is just up to the bird on which it'll choose, and hopefully, it won't throw it away after it withers and pick a new one."
At that time, I was only a child with a meager age of 6 when a lady sat on the bench where I was placed on.
She wasn't extremely beautiful, but she wasn't ugly too. It was just that time had clearly taken a toll on her appearance. There were aged lines on the sides of her eyes and her skin wasn't plump and youthful.
She had a light blond hair, like that of a princess but it was cut short, like that of a boy's hair. At that time, I thought that if her hair was long and beautifully styled, then she would certainly still look beautiful even with her slightly aging appearance.
As I was still an innocent or more like ignorant child at that time, I tilted my head to the side and stared as I asked if she was a foreigner because of her pale white skin and blond hair which was uncommon for the people here. I really expected that she would ask me 'what?' or maybe answer with 'I don't understand.' but contrary to my expectations, she fluently spoke in our native language.
She clearly spoke the word without a tint of any expression on her voice. I thought that maybe, the lady was just cold and aloof, but then, a smile appeared on her face.
"If a wilting flower's petal is painted with a vivid color, does it still look beautiful?" The lady asked, but I didn't know what 'wilting' and 'vivid' was so I replied with an 'I don't understand' look.
In her eyes, I was able to observe an emotion which, even until now, I still cannot understand. It was an emotion that remained on her eyes as she told me a tale about a bird and a field of flowers.
She started the story describing a field filled with variety of flowers. Most were beautiful with colorful petals and splendid designs, some were simple and plain, and there were even others which were ugly and smelly. The lady described the field with much detail that the 6 years old me whose mind was filled with creativity aka delusional imagination was able to picture it out on my mind.
According to my interpretation, the beautiful flowers were at the center of the field. It was colorful at the middle but as it goes farther away, the flowers became simpler having a plain color and on the extremities were weed-like flowers, ugly and smelly.
After describing the field, the lady talked about the bird. However, unlike her vivid description on the field, she shallowly described that the bird would fly by the field and choose a flower among the millions rooted at the field.
I thought that it was anti-climatic until she asked me that if I were a bird, what flower will I choose. Without hesitation, I answered that I will pick the most beautiful and fragrant flower.
Hearing my answer, she just nodded pensively then she continued her story.
The bird picked the most beautiful flower and bought it back to his nest. When other birds flew by or visit it's place, they would praise the beauty of the flower and some even wanted to take it but the bird protected the flower and loved it so dearly.
The bird and the flower spent their days happily until the flower started to dry up and it's color faded as the leaves on its stem fell one after the other. The lady said, "The flower was wilting."
"The flower was withering."
She said two sentences and the only difference between the two was the last word. Wilting and withering. I didn't know what the words meant but thinking about the flower, I somehow understood. I thought that those words might mean that the flower was turning ugly.
When visitors came to the bird's nest, they would not praise the flower like before but instead, they would insult it and mock the bird at the same time. Unable to control itself, the bird threw the wilting flower out of it's nest down to the ground and flew away back to the field of flowers.
Left alone on the cold land, the flower thought to itself that if her petals were still as colorful as before, then the bird would want it and the visitors will praise it again. The flower thought that if it return to what it was like before then everything will also return. The visitors will like her again, she will be praised and envied and most of all, the bird will not abandon her again.
With that in her mind, she prayed and prayed and prayed. She prayed with all her heart but no. She was just a flower. A wilting flower whose beauty was withering.
Later, the flower saw a shadow approaching from the horizon. It was the bird, buy on its break was a flower which was as beautiful as her when she was in her prime.
'It found a new one.' The flower thought.
'I was replaced.' The flower thought.
With those words in its mind, the petals on the dying flower fell. The green pigments in its Stern and leaves disappeared and all that was left was a dead remains. An ugly waste that is going to be decomposed and return to the earth.
"The End." The lady said, with her head tilted upwards as if looking if a bird was arriving from the field of beautiful flowers.
"If you like a flower, you pluck it to be displayed on a vase where it'll later wilt and die. But if you love it, you'll water it everyday. You'll nourish it and take care of it so that the both of you can be together for a long, long time."
Hearing those words, my mind was enlightened and I thought that it made a perfect sense. I nodded my head up and down vigorously and this made the lady smile.
A true smile.
She pat my head and stood up.
While she was walking away, I heard her say...
"When you grow up, make sure to find yourself a good gardener. A gardener that will accept you for who you are, rather than scientist who will force you to change yourself."
Now that I grew up, I finally understood a lot of things.
Taking a deep breath, I tried to clear away all the emotions boiling inside my heart.
I tried to calm myself by looking at the blooming flowers but unlike before, their vivid colors and beautiful appearances are like torn both in my eyes and heart.
I found myself a true gardener. He wasn't a scientist too.
But the problem is that I'm not a flower.
Howdy! It's been a long time since my last update but mehhh.
I hope someone enjoyed it and you can leave your own guesses on the comment? Though I kind of wondered why this story turned out like that in the end......
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