“Come”, said the Gardner, “come with me, for I have something you absolutely must see.” And so What If The Flower followed where he seemed to lead. Over time darkness and despair crept around him. Almost imperceptibly it snuck up on him until it’s smothering effect began to drown What If The Flower.
Hopelessness gathered so close that time faded and the motion of forward progress became intermittent, hesitant and second guessing at best. Alone he stood. Empty, hollow and yearning for rescue. Surely the Gardner would return and grant him relief. He had seen countless others granted their pleas for help. Would he not be found as worthy as they were?
His petition floated from him like the mist that he longed for to quench his thirst. His head drooped down in humility and acknowledgement of his need for the Gardner, an admission of his utter dependence upon Him.
Just as hope was slipping away, as the last thoughts wandering about before an endless sleep overtook him he thought he found himself alone and safe in a large and spacious field. The warmth of the green surrounding him seemed to reflect the very sun itself. A feeling of peace and a familiarity like that of home embraced him welcomingly.
In the distance a tree, like no other ordinary tree, stood majestically waiting and watching. It’s fruit was like none he had ever seen before in his limited existence. The sweetness seemed to have a glow, if taste could in fact do such a thing. A haunting pulse that eye and ear could not detect seemed to pull you towards it, so long as you did not allow anything to distract you from the prize.
What If The Flower took the whole scene in; the tree, the path along the banks of rushing water, the iron rail to guide and support the weary traveler in the accomplishment of their quest.
What If watched in awe as an aged father reached forth his hand and tasted of the fruit of the tree. The blossom of a smile opened. The twinkling lights in his eyes testified that what he had traveled long and searched endlessly for was now his. The fruit was filled with the happiness that he had read about, the happiness that had been spoken of in hushed, reverent tones around countless camp fires to numerous to be recalled.
Love filled his heart and his eyes searched the horizon for his family to share this great blessing with. Motioning for them to join him, his heart called across the distance between them louder than his voice possibly could.
Beside the water they traveled the path toward their anxious father. The anticipation of sharing what he had discovered kept him focused on his family as they made their way toward him. Two however became lost along the way. Like many before and many since they were distracted from following the council of their father. Some were lost in thick darkness while others were easily misled by the shouts and cries from a building, high on a hill, bursting with pride and filled with people who seemed to be enjoying a grand party.
Gratefully his wife partook of the fruit and together they shared it with their sons who joined with them at the tree.
The father wrapped his arm around his wife and turned toward the large building their two lost sons had entered. Tears flowed freely, hearts tore slowly and painfully. It was clear that they were longing for their lost sons. The desire to share their taste of happiness with them would be a whisper their sons would never hear. The noise and cries of the crowd were simply too loud, the distractions too many. And yet they still hoped, they still prayed, they still waited for the day that would give to them an opportunity to be heard, a fruit to be shared.
What If The Flower now felt the loneliness of the field where the Gardner had brought him. He ached to have known his father but that time was long past. The Gardner was the closest thing he had to family and tales of how much he looked like his father were as close as he would ever come in this life to knowing him.
He looked back at the lost young men. Did they have any idea what they were missing out on?
What If The Flower felt dew forming on his pedals at midday.
What if the flower was you. Now what would you do?