I can’t believe they placed me in their grocery cart. I am just a measly flower and quite a bit beat up at that. I can tell she doesn’t care that much for me. I’m orange and wilted and small. I feel insignificant next to the vibrant flowers surrounding me. And she plants me in a flower pot with another flower she likes so much more than me. But I resolve to grow anyway.
I see her water all the other flowers, and I think she might forget me, but she proves me wrong each time. She fills me up with the life-water. She never really looks at me, but I did hear her opinion of me that mid-May day. I’m not that pretty, she said. I’d go well with the other flowers, she decided. Marigolds really aren’t my favorite, she tells her mom.
Even though I hear her marigold murmurs, I can’t stop growing. I love to be alive. And it’s not that I want to prove her wrong, it’s just that I love spreading my leaves as far they can reach while I grow out my orange petals as crinkly as they will ruffle. She keeps not caring, but I keep on digging my roots deep and I keep on being a marigold anyway.
A month goes by and she still doesn’t really see me, but I’ve had lots of time to look at her. May was a ray of hope for her, a confident resolve. And June became a celebration, it escaped right through her eyes.
But there were days splattered through where she didn’t just trudge to me, she trudged to all the other flowers too. She watered us because she knew she had to, but there was no joy spilling out…just a weariness that marked her steps with tear-stains on her cheeks.
It was in her exhausting days that I realized something about the girl who gives me the life-water…
she’s a marigold too.
I can hear it in the way she walks beat-up, and I can see it in the way the joy forges through. I watch as Life-water gives her roots and her smile spreads all crinkly to every inch of her laugh lines.
She’s a marigold too.
A marigold just like me.
So I spill my leaves out of the flower pot and know one day she might even really see me too. I brighten my corner, because life-water lets me. I die back, because I have learned that death makes more of life somehow. I wait to bloom again. Water never stops reaching me, and I become life again. And again. And again.
I multiply into more.
July comes sweltering in and she walks through the door. I see her face is marked by celebration, marked by a season of soul-miracles, marked by the wonder of seeing the wonderful. She smiles like my orange, crinkly petals, and she waters every part of her garden.
But she stops when she gets to me. She stares down for a long while. It is the first time she has admired me, the first time my beauty has been seen deep into her heart. I realize she finally knows what I have known since May.
She is a marigold…a marigold-soul.
A marigold just like me.
And God does wonderful things with marigolds.
It just took her weeks to see it.
I smile back at her.
And we go on being marigolds.