If you were to ask me when I was placed here, I don’t believe I could tell you.
I’m positive I can’t tell you.
Do you ever look back on your week, or even your month, and think to yourself, where did Time escape? I have heard that is a popular thought amongst many, and now I believe it’s my thought as well. And as I brush against the lavender skirts of Iris and see the dark green shadows of Eucalyptus, I want to ask them if they ever think the same things. After all, we are all here together. It would make for the best conversation of my life.
But they don’t look at me. They’ve ignored me, for days actually, and even though I’ve tried to get their attention they don’t look my way.
We traveled together, tightly stacked against each other. A close family, you could even call us. At least, that’s what I called us.
But someone whispered that I think I’m better than Iris or Eucalyptus, or even Daisy and Protea, but it isn’t true. They…whoever it was…dream up thoughts and come to their own conclusions and I have to tell you, it’s hurtful.
So very, very hurtful.
In the beginning, I wore the color of my cape with joy, when I was with others who were like me. I noticed the evening sky and my cape shared the same vibrant colors, and I dreamed that, maybe, I was a reflection of the great wide open, with its magnificent eyes looking down on me.
(Until I was severed, and my roots stayed in deep, rich earth and my body was lifted away.)
Although I still felt my roots, they were unseen and I had to close my eyes and imagine they were still with me. Tears fell, and others called it dew, and look how pretty I was, wearing yellows and oranges so well. I had nothing to cry about, I heard them say.
But my thorns hurt them. It wasn’t intentional.
And now I’ve been placed here, and my friends are gone.
Iris and Daisy still don’t look my way.
As people pass by, as the crowds stream by, one person after another after another, I feel others shake their heads and ask, no…plead…Take me, chose me, I beg you to look at me!
And soon Iris left, then Protea, and although many picked me up and shook me a little bit, I wasn’t taken and I was forgotten.
One person shoved me into an empty space next to Lily, and I was left without anything to drink.
There is a brown spot on her, I heard someone say. The petals are too soft, said another. I want red, a third voice stated, a little terse.
A potted soul, I wish I knew his name, didn’t say a word. I’m sure he was thankful to still have roots.
Me? I no longer lived in Joy.
What a terrible thing to admit.
Although my cape was once beautiful, I had brown spots now.
A week ago, there had been none.
And so many people would rather have red than something orangey-yellow like myself.
Perhaps it will go on sale, someone else said, talking as if I could not hear. Talking as if I had no feelings.
And so it went, day after day. And I learned that I wore not a cape, but petals. And my thorns kept people from handling me too much.
A little boy took notice of me and put me in water with Sunflower. She was like me in color, but much, much taller.
But within a day she was gone and still, no one wanted me.
Then I heard someone mention that we were half-price, but I still didn’t have a home.
Not until someone said I was free. Then people seemed to notice me a little bit more. I became more important.
A bunch of us were free, and I couldn’t believe it. Some people put us together in one space, and a woman and a man came up to us with several buggy-carts, and in we went. This time, no one said bad things about the other, because we were just thankful to be what they said we were: Free!
I imagined the field from which I was born, and hoped with every bit of my being that I could return and see the beautiful sunsets again.
But we didn’t go to a field.
It was nothing like I would have ever expected.
The whole lot of us were placed in a large room with more people, only they were in chairs with wheels.
Some of us were plucked up just like that and got to live on a big porch where the sun streamed in.
And others were placed on indoor tables.
I was given to a woman with white hair, and she carried me on her lap. She said nice things about me, and at night I lived near her pillow on a little table. I had plenty to drink.
During the day, I went with her to all kinds of places.
No one told me that my petals were too brown. Instead, I heard how my green leaves glistened and I began to believe, again, that I was beautiful.
Where I sit today is very different than where I came from. And there is sunshine and laughter and people seem to enjoy looking at me.
When they said I was free, they were right:
I am free!
I still feel my roots, and I still remember the sunshine. I remember the field from which I grew, and so these memories are with me.
And I’m in a place where laughter lives. It’s much better to spend my days like this than listen to Iris or Protea, although I wish them well.
I believe in adventures, and so here I am:
Plunged into lots of light, where sunbeams dance.
And at last, I am free!
One thought on “In My Eyes”
Having just read “The Overstory”, this takes on such powerful meaning.
Beautifully written; thank you 🌿