Flower Petals 27-July-2012
Flower Petals 27-July-2012
This is something Sophie said Friday night, and I did my best to scribble down enough notes that I could come back to writing the story when time allowed. Often, I try to write these things out immediately when the kids say them, so that I don’t miss or forget any details. I didn’t rush on this one, though, because I knew that no matter how well I managed to put it in my own words, I wouldn’t do justice to how Sophie told it, nor can I convey in words how special it was to sit and listen to it come from her own lovely lips. I suppose I get to keep that part all to and for myself, as much as I wish I could share it too.
Sophie has a box of dried flowers and petals that she has saved from the flowers I’ve bought her on our date nights over the years. Not all of them- often she gives away most of her flowers before we make it home, but there are at least a few petals from each night in there. I hadn’t seen that box in a while, and the other night I noticed it sitting on the kitchen table.
Me- “Why do you have your box of flower petals out, honey?”
Sophie- “I have something really smart to tell you, but it’s going to take a few minutes and I want to tell you in private.”
Sophie isn’t really the shy type. This ought to be good…
We found a quiet corner and she proceeded to tell me about the different kinds of dried flowers in the box. Many of them are well-preserved: They remain somewhat soft and smooth in spite of being entirely dried out. Some seem to have been only lucky enough to remain partially preserved: They are still soft on the inside, but the outer parts of the petals are dry and crisp. Some haven’t stood the test of time well at all: They are dry and brown throughout, and the deeper inside you dig, the darker and more brittle the petals get.
“See Daddy, these are kind of how people are. The ones that are just a little brown on the tips, but are still mostly smooth and soft are like a person who has made just a few bad choices in life, but they’re still a good person. Like this rose. It’s still beautiful, even though it’s not perfect.”
“And then, there are the ones that are dry on the outside, but if you pull the petals out, they’re still kind of soft and smooth on the inside. These are like a person who has made a lot of bad choices in life, but there is still a lot of good inside them, even though on the outside it looks kind of bad.”
“Some of them are just dry and brittle all the way through, though. Even if you pull off all the petals, all the way down to the very inside, it just gets darker and blacker inside, and the inside petals are even more brittle than the petals that look terrible on the outside. These are like a person who has made mostly bad choices in life, and is really just a bad person all the way through.”
For each description, she dug out a flower to disassemble for me, to show me the different parts she was describing as she talked. I honestly don’t know why some of the flowers in that box are better preserved than others, but undoubtedly, Sophie saw more in there than any botanist ever could. Or than I ever would have.
As the Blind Ogre I willingly admit that I am when standing next to my kids most of the time, I thought I was doing well to see the beauty in that Sophie has saved all of those flower petals all of these years. This is another of the many times I find myself in awe of the amazing depth with which Sophie sees the world around her. Little known fact about Blind Ogres: They see the world in black and white, just like dogs. Know why dogs love kids so much? I know why. It’s because they can paint a colorful masterpiece in our otherwise grayscale worlds. Even using old dry flower petals…
Cheers from The ThreeFiveZero Petals