There was a Happy Flower, and an Angry Man. The Angry Man lived a stressful life. His work, his family, his loan to pay. The Flower’s life was simple. She was blooming all day long on the way to the Man’s work. She had noticed the Man. He would pass by very quickly every morning as if rushing somewhere, with a grumpy face, one untied shoelace, and a little, black briefcase seized in his hand.
“Good morning, Sir!” The Flower would greet him.
“Good morning, Sir,” The Flower would say again, fluttering her purple petals.
The Man would continue walking. He would not hear her, nor look at her. He would not look anywhere and soon vanish from the road.
One day, the Flower, as usual, was greeting the Man, and – to her surprise – he abruptly turned to her side. His angry countenance, his entire being boiling with rage.
“What do you want?” he shouted.
“Sir, I… I… wanted to wish you a good morning.”
“Good Morning? I just had a fight with my wife, my boss is complaining about my performance, and then some stupid flower doesn’t leave me alone? Who do you think you are?”
“I am… I am sorry, sir,” the Flower stumbled. The Man’s behavior was foreign to her.
“Yes, you should be!”
“But why do you speak so loud, sir?” the Flower wanted to know.
“Loud? And now you don’t like my way of speaking? What do you understand from this life, stupid Flower? Do you have a family to feed? Kids to look after? Work to finish on time? Bus to catch every morning? Do you have anything at all to worry about?”
“No, I don’t,” she said.
“See? You are not able to understand me.”
“But I have exactly the same moment as you do right now. You are here, and I am here. Those things you mentioned are not here. Why would you even talk about them?” the Flower wondered.
“It’s because you, stupid Flower, know nothing but this road. You have nothing to keep your mind busy with.”
“Hmm,” she was thinking. “But why keep mind busy with something that you can’t do anything about in the moment? Why can’t you be like me?” the Flower asked.
“Like you?Are you crazy?” the Man laughed. “What do you want me to do?”
“Simply be peaceful and happy wherever you are.”
The Man laughed again.
“See, stupid Flower, I have two legs. I am not stuck in one place, like you.”
“But at the end of the day, you can physically be only in one place, no matter how many legs you have,” the Flower pointed.
The Man thought for a while, but did not want some Flower to teach him how to live.
“Anyways, I am getting late for my bus and wasting my time with you,” he said, turned away and left.
Next day, the Man walked the same road. As always, he was in a hurry to catch the bus. Then, as if winter breeze froze the sunlight, he suddenly stopped on the road, that same place where he had spoken to the Flower. He could not believe what he saw. The Flower had been flattened on the road, cruelly smashed by a car, her purple petals scattered all over the road. He picked up her fragile body, looked into Flower’s face, and noticed a vague smile on her tiny lips. Same lips that had talked to him a day before now were closed. What a happy Flower it was! He thought. Though he had not wanted to listen to her, he felt sorry for this beautiful creature to be gone. Had she known she would die next day, would she still have been that happy the day before?
The Man stopped and stood still for a while. He remembered the words that the Flower had said. Why can’t you be like me? At the end of the day, you can physically be only in one place. One place at a time. One thought at a time. One action at a time. Yes, that’s what she had tried to tell me when I had complained about my problems. If I can’t be present in this moment, I will never fully appreciate it, I will never be happy about it, I will spend my whole life worrying about my problems. And what if I too get smashed by a car tomorrow? Would I die with a same smile on my face like the Flower did?
Why do we think, that we should be more complicated and more important than the beings around us? We put a flower in a vase or we look at it in the garden, it radiates the same stillness.
The Man carefully placed the Flower on the green grass next to the road. He picked up every petal that she had lost and put them by her side. Then he looked at her, smiled and whispered: “Thank you.”
Illustration: rusted melancholy. magnolia. by Migrena from http://migrena.deviantart.com/art/rusted-melancholy-magnolia-204498710