I’ve always believed that I was a flower. A very gentle one, with white petals and a small sun in the center. I wanted to share with everybody all the light that I had inside of me. I wanted people to smile when they looked at me, wanted to love and to be loved. Only wherever I went, they would call me a loathsome ivy and banish me from their gardens. They burned me, cut my body, poisoned and trampled my limbs. Flowers pricked me with their thorns and hit me with their branches, proud and conceited they said that I could never become one of them. But the more they push you away, the more you fight for their appreciation. I turned my soul into a shield and hoped for my heart to be recognized. Roaming about the world, lost and puny like a small drop of water in the deserts, sprawling through wonderful gardens, I lived on my dreams.
Once, driven by my despair to the edge of the world, I saw, over the top of the hill, an entrancing garden. I came closer, my heart pounding, it was a special one, the most beautiful garden I’ve ever seen. All the flowers shone with happiness, restfully bathing in the air filled with a human’s love and kindness. At that moment I realized that I had found what I had been looking for. No one but the purest soul on the planet could create such a glorious garden. Only those who feel the finest beauty, so deep and subtle, who sustain such a great love, only they can see what’s hidden. And the creatures grown by such tenderness just can’t be filled with any malice. I decided to enter the garden and wait for its master.
When the flowers saw me they were terrified. They started screaming and hitting me with their limbs. But I stood patiently. I forgave them everything, I knew that they just didn’t see me. As a broken-hearted mistress, waiting for her lover to comfort her, I waited for the gardener to come and show them the truth.
In the morning, after long hours of waiting, I saw a man on the road. His wide shoulders and assured gate conveyed his honor and nobleness. His face and hands were all in wrinkles, but his eyes were young and warm. I stepped forward to let him see me. I reached for all the light I had to show him the real me. He leaned to me and extended his hand, just one more moment and he would touch me. For the first time in my wretched life, a gentle, loving touch! Suddenly, he grabbed me tight.
Torn, discarded and trampled on the ground, a spiteful laughter of the flowers echoed in my every cell. I saw the gardener caressing and consoling them. How can it be? A garden raised in love but bearing only pride. I look at the man’s eyes for the answer. The truth is revealed at the most agonizing moments. Those flowers, their beauty, their intoxicating aroma had deceived his heart. I hated them, I wanted to destroy those narcissistic buds, bursting with conceit. They were the biggest lie in all the garden. Their lovely veneer was the most insidious toxin.
I despised them. I wanted to wipe them out once and for all. I waited behind the fence. I got stronger. And when I felt the time had come, I stretched my tendrils through the fence and broke into the garden. Entwining supple stalks, I strangled them with relish, choking and smashing buds, I crushed them like people had crushed me before. They cried for help, but the gardener didn’t hear them. After smothering the last sprout, I headed to his house. I felt I had to protect him from those flowers. I couldn’t let him be fooled again. I wrapped around the house, swaddling it like a caring mother and squeezed. I broke the windows and constricted planks until they cracked. Walls falling down, I heard the man wake up. He called for help and his begging filled up the air, then his humble plea subdued to a mute cry. I cried with him. I tried to explain to him that it was the only way. I would stay here and protect him forever. I knew I didn’t need a garden because I wasn’t a flower anymore.