Alana’s feet were on soft ground. She took a deep, refreshing breath of damp forest. Such a beautiful place! Why had she never been here before?
“You’ve never looked for it.”
At the voice she whirled around.
“Welcome to my garden.” A bearded man in overalls stood near, smiling with a twinkle in his eyes. “It’s one of my favorite places to be.”
He took a few steps toward a garden bed, “This is one of my favorite flowers.” He pointed to a particular rose. It had sparkles of gold amongst the deep pink.
“It’s beautiful.” She moved closer and bent to take in the flower’s enchanting aroma. She could only describe the smell as Beauty. She ran her hands across the petals, feeling the silkiness grace her fingers.
“Let me show you where it came from.” The man motioned for her to follow him and walked to another garden full of weeds, with a single rose standing among them. If she were to pick a flower it wouldn’t have been that one! It looked as if it wouldn’t last a day.
“That beautiful rose came from this garden?”She looked back at the sparkly rose. She’d much rather be over there.
“There is a great beauty hidden in the most overlooked of flowers. If they were loved and nurtured, their beauty would shine through.”
“But that other flower has gold on it. This rose is turning brown!”
“The weeds are starving this flower.” He caressed it and ran his hands down its crinkled leaves. It stood taller at his touch.
He began to dig it out of the ground, his strong hands embracing it gently. “People see this flower, and say ugly things about it, even ignore it. That doesn’t do the flower any good. But if someone would see that this flower only needs to be nourished, the flower would bud and bloom, until it had a breathtaking beauty.” He carried the flower to the other garden. Alana thought it looked tiny and frail in his hands.
He replanted it, his shovel scraping against the soil as he dug, “So many miss the majesty of this flower, because they only look at what it is, and not at what it could be. It takes a special person to do that.”
The man stood up and wiped the dirt from his hands. It seemed his eyes saw into Alana’s very soul. “Do you feel ugly sometimes Alana?”
Alana’s mouth dropped open. How did this man know her so well?
Without waiting for her answer he went on, “You are one of the most precious, beautiful flowers in my garden.”
Tears came to Alana’s eyes and she brushed them away. She opened her mouth to tell the man thank you.
He was gone.
© Carolyn Rice 2013