A Fictional Short Story
December 9, 2006
The Caring Flower Prince
by Shaun Michael Samaroo
Every morning the soft dawn sunlight spreads its magic: it lights up that part of the garden that is most dark at nights. And from that dark wicked corner of that jungle world I see the bright sparkly yellow sunflower beaming across the tall, green, rowdy weeds, beckoning me! Yes, beckoning me - to that danger zone.
Sunflower there waves at me with great provocation from outside the hedges that guard us precious creatures. We live inside the hedges of the beloved, well-kept garden. Miss Sunflower belongs to a different world. All bright and beautiful and gaily skipping her radiance under the sun’s attractive light, she stands tall and majestic in her unruly, corrupted world of weeds and un-pruned trees and bush – the jungle world. Yet, daily, I stand awestruck, spellbound, hypnotized in her mystical trance.
The Gardener comes in softly as the sun dawns, walking gingerly among us delicate flowers as he tends to us. He keeps the garden looking beautiful, a place of aesthetic music and wonder. We are his shining jewels, groomed and gently nurtured till we become the envy of all the world’s flowers and plants and trees. We are the elites of the earth’s flora. Oh yeah, he spends an enormous amount of time and thought to keep us beautiful and delicate and well kept.
And right next to me are others of such fabulous flawlessness that I feel like a prince in this my flowery kingdom. This garden oozes beauty, from its very pores, and brilliant, colourful flowers keep me company. Oh I have a good life. Everything is so pure and clean and cool. Right next to me is my beloved Poinsettia. Poinset and I have formed a bond. I know Poinset. Poinset knows me. Poinset and I connect. Poinset and I know each other well. Poinset and I belong to this world. Poinset and I own our piece of this eternal bliss. Oh, Poinset loves me. Poinset lives for me. I am Poinset’s adorable darling. And the Gardener has his eyes on Poinset and me: he wants to graft her pretty perfect floweriness with my seeds to form a new class of flowers. Oh, we would make an addition to the world’s botany treasures that would give birth to whole new pleasures for those garden lovers. They would plant us and grow us and nurture us and celebrate us and show us off and sell our unique seed so that we would populate new ground all over the earth. Oh, the possibilities!
But every morning instead of glorying in my good fortune, I stare in deep wonder at Sunflower. I want to crawl out of my perfectness, go over to the creeping hedges and sneak through to embrace her magic, to taste the burning passion of her bright yellow loveliness. Something stirs in my deep inner self every time I see her dark world come into my view. I know the wicked weeds would suffocate me. I know if I dare tread there I would lose the nurturing care of the Gardener. I would not survive the torture of living in that wild jungle – a place of sudden wildfires, crashing trees in those storms of thunder and lightning, wild grass and harsh flies and bugs. Sunflower strives in this atmosphere. She glows as she towers above the wild, being canny enough to grow and dwell far enough away from the trees and wild weeds that she could fully absorb the sunlight.
Why do I find her so attractive, so alluring? She is absolutely forbidden fruit for a flower like me. What can we do together? She wants to bask in the sunlight but be rooted in the hard ground of the jungle life. I cannot find root there. I bask in the sunlight too, but can we only stare at each other across the space, with no possibility of embracing? Can our seed never form a new flower family for botanists and flower lovers in gardens the world over to appreciate and enjoy? She is forbidden because she is rooted in soil that is deadly. I fear that one day I may wake up and find Sunflower gone, withered away and dried and lost, cold to the heat of her sun. That scares me. I want to save her, to bring her into my space, into my safe world where nothing can hurt. In my world she can know the bliss of really basking in the sun. From my position, the sun cannot dry me out, cannot harm me. My Gardener takes care of me. He brings the shade to me when the harsh world threatens my well-being. When the sun rises to that burning midday heat, no one gives my Sunflower shade.
And so I spend my days longing in my heart for this up-start, lost Sunflower. I long not for Poinsettia. She’s okay. She has the Gardener at her side every minute, tending her, caring for her, loving her. And she celebrates her own perfectness. She loves it, shunning any other flower that is not as satisfied as her. Poinsettia scorns Sunflower, because Sunflower “is of the jungle”.
Poor Sunflower. Beckoning to me: alluring and mystical in her distant perfectness. But forbidden.
I live with this longing. I grasp at that beckoning mystique. I build in my imagination the myth of Sunflower’s being: that there is a reachable allure. And this illusive magic leaves me sad and alone. In my perfect world I stand in my longing with drooping head and a weighty stem. I desire that which is forbidden, that I am not supposed to grasp and taste. And everything else becomes meaningless.
Yet any day that I choose to cross over the threshold of that forbidden hedge, I would sacrifice my own nurturing and tender caring from the Gardener. Is the moment of blissful embrace with Sunflower worth my self-destructive pain in losing my Gardener and my Poinsettia and my blissful eternal garden?
In the dancing heat of the sun, Sunflower sways like a slow ballet dancer on a stage screen, flowing in white silkiness, elusive to the touch from her audience held in hypnotic trance. I watch fascinated, every day, as her mystical magic weaves its way into the core of my being, leaving me powerless to find my perfect life inspiring and pleasurable.
The longing. The desire. The imagination. The mystic magic of her myth. I am captivated in her lostness.
That lostness is a forbidden experience to us in the garden. In the wild world of that jungle life the lostness of inevitable self-destruction floats far above us in thin unreachable air, out of the environment of us garden flowers. And I stare at the passing grey cloud and stretch my innocent hand grasping for its touch, longing to capture for it the gift of eternal presence – in my space. I want that beauty not to be elusive. I want to hold it dear and guard it and take care of it: to bring it to the Gardener’s attention. But Sunflower is too far from me for me to know that her beauty is transient. Fading with every sunrise into withering nothingness. I want to capture it before that moment arrives.
Why do I have to sacrifice my space and my flower friendly environment to embrace Sunflower? Why? What’s wrong with this experience that we are created apart like this, separated by that forbidden hedge? Who takes care of Sunflower? Who tends to her in the harsh heat of her world, and nurtures her and comforts her? Who understands her deeper being? In my own caring, why do I sacrifice my own self in saving Sunflower?
Sunflower did not choose that environment of harsh self-destruction. It just happened. Born into a world of jungle destructiveness. But I care. I care for Sunflower. And in that caring, I self-destruct. But then maybe my Gardener will see worth in nurturing Sunflower’s environment and bring it into our garden if he sees my seed suddenly growing there. Maybe I would be destroyed if I go embrace Sunflower, but she would be saved! The Gardener could extend the hedges to include her section of the world.
So risking my own bond with Poinsettia; risking my eternal blissful perfectness, which in fact has eluded my awareness after Sunflower caught my attention; risking my Gardener’s tender care and nurture; risking my own self; knowing I am risking it all in that moment of caring, I decide to spread myself across the hedges. I want to embrace this lost flower that beckons me into dangerous ground. The jungle may claim my innocence, but Sunflower will have a chance. I give myself. I sacrifice. I bring into the garden of life the beauty that stands outside not knowing the essence of this eternal bliss. I exist for this task of extending the garden atmosphere into the jungle world out there. In that I lose myself – a flower that withers and dies, but gives its life to a jungle weed created like me to glow and bask in eternal bliss.
Copyright Shaun Michael Samaroo 2006