Tuesday, October 25, 2011

How about a story?

"What do you do?", someone asked recently.
"I'm an artist", I replied.
"Oh, an artist! What KIND of artist?"
I smile. "I tell stories."
"Stories?" Confusion. "I thought you said you were an artist."
Still smiling, I explain: "I see the extraordinary in the ordinary and I tell their stories.

The Wind, the Wild Spring Daisies, and the Old Gnarled Tree

"Look at me! Look at me!"

One glorious spring day the wind was passing over the land, its touch first gently moving the grass then swirling around the leaves of the trees. It heard a noise at odds with the peacefulness of the day.

"Look at me! Look at me!" shouted a chorus of voices.

"Aren't I beautiful?" asked one voice.

"I'm just as beautiful," said another.

A shrill third voice cut in. "Well I am even more beautiful than any of you."

"We're ALL beautiful", sang the chorus again. "Look at me! Look at me! Look at US!"

"Who is making that racket?" The wind sighed, then moved in the direction of the noise. Cresting the hill the wind saw the source - wild spring daisies.

As the wind moved around the dancing flowers, they preened and swayed in a flamboyant greeting. "Hello Wind. You're making us dance. Aren't we beautiful? Look at us! Look at us!"

"Harrumph", replied the wind.

It was then that the wind noticed that the daisies were near an old friend, a twisted, gnarled tree that looked out over the river. While it is true the wind was as old as time and seldom even spoke to the creatures that lived on the land for such a short time, the tree had been there for so long that over the course of the months and years they had struck up a friendship.

Brushing up against its old friend in greeting, the wind grumpily asked, "Doesn't that noise bother you? As if they even matter. How long will they last? A few days? A week at the most. Yet listen to them, as if their beauty means anything."

The old tree chuckled and stretched its smaller limbs with the help of the wind's lift. "Ah, my old friend, leave them be. They make me smile."

"What?" The wind wailed. "How can they make you smile? All they think about is what they look like. Do they appreciate or even notice you? You who have been here longer than most, giving shelter and support to those who only think about how young and beautiful they are! They know nothing."

"Ah, they are doing exactly what they are supposed to be doing, my friend," replied the tree, stiffly stretching its limbs out over the grass. "It doesn't matter if they realize how we support and nurture them. It brings me joy and in return I get something of youth back from them. We compliment each other, even if they are too new at life to understand. You and I, my friend, we understand."

"But it will pass so quickly," argued the wind. "Next week there will be new wildflowers to take their place. Shouldn't we make them realize how inconsequential they are, compared to us?"

"How would that help us to be more?" asked the tree. "You are doing what you were created to do; you don't need someone to tell you that what you do is important. You know that it is. Just as I know that what I do is important. And, I get the pleasure of enjoying others doing what they were created to do, like our young friends over there, and even you, my old friend."

"How did you get to be so wise for such a young creature?" laughed the ageless wind as it tickled the old tree's branches and moved out across the river.

"Look at me! Look at me!" Came the shouts again a few days later.

The wind paused in its journey and went to visit the daisies. No, not the daisies. The wind saw that the daisies were already gone. In their place blue wildflowers were dancing, calling out, "Look at us, Wind. Aren't we beautiful?"

"Yes, you are, little flowers," the wind replied kindly, swirling around them helping them in their dance. "You are indeed."


10 1/2" x 14"