Well, little one,” said a Tree to a Reed that was growing at its foot, “why do you not plant your feet deeply in the ground, and raise your head boldly in the air as I do?”
“I am contented with my lot,” said the Reed. “I may not be so grand, but I think I am safer.”
“Safe!” sneered the Tree. “Who shall pluck me up by the roots or bow my head to the ground?” But, it soon had to repent of its boasting, for a hurricane arose which tore it up from its roots, and cast it a mere, gigantic and useless log on the ground, while the little Reed,
bending to the force of the wind, back and forward, soon stood upright again when the storm had passed.
Moral of Aesops Fable: Obscurity often brings security.
Nobody felt safe, we knew the world had changed and the power of us poppies were strengthened by the support of having one another. Sometimes, close friends would whisper their fears amongst themselves but mostly, we walked with our heads lowered, burrowed in heavy winter jackets as if their jackets were shields, our hoods covering our faces, of course they were. We hid beneath as many layers as we possibly could because deep inside we are scared to death, our new reality. We couldn’t lie, we were all in this together and that brought comfort to us.
Even when we didn’t watch the news or read the papers, the news would slip out like oily black ink and it would stain our petals, our brains and those images never, ever would go away. Fear was imprinted on our souls and there was nothing we could do to forget what we had seen or heard.
It was the devil’s handshake, some people called it, those who thought they knew better or pretended that they weren’t afraid, those boasting about how much money they had, their egos, over-inflated, grown-up bullies.
One old, grand big tree, we called “the monster” was mean to everyone,
a child, an elder grandmother, sweet white puppies. There was no excuse for that, the fat cow could not ever explain that away even if anyone wanted to listen but nobody did. Her justice will come in her own way, in tepid waters of muddy grass, sloshing through messy brown mud endlessly, never finding her way back. Homeless. Alone. Thinking she was smarter, because of her size and depth, stronger, more powerful than everyone else. All bluster, self-deprecating to hide the cruel reality of knowing not who she really was but how others truly saw her.
It escaped no one but herself. One day, even she, would look up from the ground and see herself, still strong, roots planted, with wildflowers all around her, petals of rose, pink,
yellow, and blue, laughing together, the sound of sweet angels in a club, chirpy birds were invited but the club had no room for her.
The tables had turned, it taken a long time but eventually karma had caught up. Our soft willows, loose wildflowers, dancing in the wind, singing songs, perhaps not in harmony, but with delight and passion, having fun, we felt sorry for that big old maid, that over-critical stump.
Alone, all alone in the middle of the forest, away from everyone else, while the rest of us could bend with the wind, smile at the sunshine with the lovely wind and whistles as a mere game of promise and friendship and love.
We were all friends, together, except for Her, that snobby tree, who criticized everybody, yet never looked inside her rotten, ugly, stump, its decay on the inside visible to those outside, its scent slowly, insidiously, reeking of week old trash, of judgment, of her.
The fragile willows, we, bent together, laughing, this way and that, in abundance, we knew we were all equal, all the same not better than one another,
that kept us together, happy. We trusted one another.
We were one united bunch of laughing flowers,our heads gloriously pointed to sun. The old, big tree stump, callous and mean, sat in shambles on the ground, broken, alone. we walked over its pieces and never looked back.When it rained all of us just bent a little lower and in the distance you could hear us not breaking but singing, quiet songs, happy songs in unison.