Once there was a flower. It was a lovely shade of lavender, this little wild flower. With 5 delicate petals and two tender leaves, she was too small to have much of a scent, but she didn’t mind.
She had learned how to touch the true nature of who she was. She had looked at herself and realized she was a flower, nothing more, nothing less.
She had friends who talked about what it would be like to be a different type of flower, but she had accepted that she was the type of flower she was. A small lavender wild flower. Nothing more, nothing less.
Some of the flowers a little farther down the road liked to bend and flex their heads to follow the sun, but this flower didn’t worry about moving her body to follow the sun, or the moon, or other flowers. She danced with the breezes. Nothing more, nothing less.
In a nearby village lived a rich man with his young daughter. He admittedly spoiled her, but it was getting difficult to find gifts that she didn’t already have. Each time he came into her room, she would stretch her arms out and say “present”, “present”. The first few times it had happened, the father thought it cute, but now it annoyed him.
He knew she was just a child, but he had already given her every present he could think of, and yet it seemed, she wanted more. “How do I teach my daughter to appreciate what she has instead of wanting more?” He asked himself.
One day the weather was a perfect and the father took his little daughter to a nearby park. He had some phone calls to make, and he figured his daughter would be content playing there.
As he went through his calls, his daughter wandered to the edge of the nearby woods. He was so engaged in his calls that he didn’t even notice his daughter sitting down near the trees looking intently at something.
What she had found was the flower. A tiny purple flower, nothing more, nothing less. She picked the flower, as children do. “Present” the girl said softly to the flower.
The flower knew the moment it had been picked that it was dying, but she didn’t mind. Flowers die, and she was a flower, nothing more, nothing less. As she looked into the girls eyes, she saw the longing.
“Present” the little girl said again, and the flower knew she didn’t want a pretty gift. She wanted what she saw in the flower. The rare gift of something that was truly present. Nothing more, nothing less.
The little girl’s dad had finally noticed her at the edge of the woods. He ran over and clutched his daughter’s hand. “Yes, I will have the presentation ready for the meeting. Okay, talk to you later.”
“You must never wander off like that again”. Her father scolded as he walked her to the car.
The little girl opened the hand that still clutched the flower. “Present?”
“Yes, yes, we can get you a present before the babysitter comes.” Her father brushed the flower out of her hand and lifted her into her car seat. I still need to do a little laundry before going out. Should probably get some cash out for the sitter too He thought to himself.
The crumbled, wilting, discarded flower hoped the father would one day see that his daughter really only wanted him to be present instead of lost in the past or planning for the future.
She hoped, but it was not the flower’s job to make the father see the truth.
She was a flower. Nothing more, nothing less. Soon she would be dirt, maybe one day soil in which new flowers could grow.
Life changes and morphs into different things, which is why each moment requires our full presence if we are to truly exist. Whether only a flower, or a little girl, or a busy mom or stressed out dad, the only real and lasting gift we can give is being truly here.
This year, let resolve to be present for those we love. Nothing more, nothing less.