I read this poem, The Most Beautiful Flower by Cheryl L. Costello-Forshey–whose poems have appeared in the Chicken Soup for the Soul series of books–quite some time ago and yes, saved it for the Wednesday Wisdom series which I started much later. It’s a lovely poem and brought tears to my eyes, because I felt guilty of sometimes brushing off a kind gesture when my mind was intent on focusing on my problems. So I don’t really dwell for too long on these things, but the momentary freaking out is bad enough, especially if I fail to acknowledge a friendly word.
I remember, years ago, when I was buried under work, my Mom would try to cheer me up by making my favorite dish or reading out a passage from a book she enjoyed. I didn’t always react pleasantly, being too wrapped up in myself.
It is all too easy to ignore a kind overture or a friendly smile from someone when we’re having a terrible day. We’re so caught up with looking at things solely from our points of view that we forget to notice whatever or whoever is around us. Some of us just go through life like that, rushing, barely slowing down to look at the beautiful souls that cross our paths, or taking time to smell the flowers
Read The Most Beautiful Flower.
The Most Beautiful Flower
The park bench was deserted as I sat down to read.
Beneath the long, straggly branches of an old willow tree.
Disillusioned by life with good reason to frown,
For the world was intent on dragging me down.
And if that weren’t enough to ruin my day,
A young boy out of breath approached me, all tired from play.
He stood right before me with his head tilted down
And said with great excitement, “Look what I found!”
In his hand was a flower, and what a pitiful sight,
With its petals all worn – not enough rain, or too little light.
Wanting him to take his dead flower and go off to play,
I faked a small smile and then shifted away.
But instead of retreating he sat next to my side
And placed the flower to his nose
And declared with overacted surprise,
“It sure smells pretty and it’s beautiful, too.
That’s why I picked it; here, it’s for you.”
The weed before me was dying or dead.
Not vibrant of colors: orange, yellow or red.
But I knew I must take it, or he might never leave.
So I reached for the flower, and replied, “Just what I need.”
But instead of him placing the flower in my hand,
He held it mid-air without reason or plan.
It was then that I noticed for the very first time
That weed-toting boy could not see: he was blind.
I heard my voice quiver; tears shone in the sun
As I thanked him for picking the very best one.
You’re welcome,” he smiled, and then ran off to play,
Unaware of the impact he’d had on my day.
I sat there and wondered how he managed to see
A self-pitying woman beneath an old willow tree.
How did he know of my self-indulged plight?
Perhaps from his heart, he’d been blessed with true sight.
Through the eyes of a blind child, at last I could see
The problem was not with the world; the problem was me.
And for all of those times I myself had been blind,
I vowed to see the beauty in life, and appreciate every second that’s mine.
And then I held that wilted flower up to my nose
And breathed in the fragrance of a beautiful rose
And smiled as I watched that young boy, another weed in his hand,
About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.
Did you enjoy the poem?
What do you think of The Most Beautiful Flower?
Wednesday Wisdom is a series with short bursts of easy-to-consume wisdom in the form of stories, quotes, anecdotes, reflections, easy meditation, thought-provoking questions and humor.