Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Wish

It was a perfect dandelion, set under a crisp plain of bright blue sky. It was straight and tall, a white puff of individual seeds that almost begged the wind to scatter it, each one holding on with the most gentle touch of strength. The dandelion was ripe and ready, finding itself alone in a wide open green field of grass, where bare-boughed oaks stayed in the distance, on the soft sloping hillsides that rimmed the field like the jewels on a crown. A gentle wind began to blow, rattling the long stem in its place. Bending from side to side, but not a seed ventured out. The time had not come, the world was not yet ready. They could all wait, holding onto the stem just a little longer.

She gathered what they needed for a picnic, looking with discerning eyes through her small pantry. There was already a thin pink tablecloth in her black canvas backpack, two ham and cheese sandwiches she had made in the morning while her heart raced with bursts of excitement. There were a couple room temperature bottles of water and a handful of paper napkins. She grabbed a handful of chocolate kisses from a half-full plastic bag and dropped them into the side pocket. She zipped up the backpack and headed out the door, warm golden sunlight greeting her. It was time to play.
The day outside was so fresh. It had rained for several weeks, nearly non-stop, and now it was time to reap the rewards of endurance. In every garden were daffodils and the buds of Icelandic poppies just about to burst. Something about the air was so different, it almost had a sweetness, like the rain had washed away every sad thought and tear. There was something so clean, she couldn’t quite place what it reminded her of, but she felt like she had lived it before.
She drank in the air, the day, enjoying every lick of the cool breeze that slid past her round red cheeks. She walked five block to the park, passing single story houses with large front yards and no gates. Everyone seemed to be gone. No cars in the driveway, no human sounds. It was just her and the quiet dance of leaves, the sun and its returning loyalty, the color of soft petals. The park was more of an open green field, not a place new mothers would bring their children to. There were no play structures or a basketball court. Just a large stretch of grass and oaks along the edges. She liked it, it was a place she came to often, perhaps the last wild, undeveloped place in the city. A breath of fresh, green air.

She saw him in the distance and her heart both jumped out of and fell into her stomach. He was a small shape amid green covered earth and blue sky. Knowing he was there, she walked slightly faster, her heart beating, her palms beginning to sweat. His broad shoulders looked wide in the uncompromising light. He stood now, watching her approach, and with each step closer, she felt ever more shy in his steady gaze. She could not stop smiling. Wind whipped across her teeth, drying them completely. Another step across soft earth, then another. Where he stood was home, within his body was everything she dreamed of. The space between them grew smaller and smaller, until there was no space, their bodies pressing tightly.

“Hi,” he said, taking a small step back. “right here, this is the perfect spot, look,” he pointed to the ground, “I thought you might want to make a wish.”

She followed the invisible trail from his finger to the grass, and there, was a dandelion. Ripe with seed and wishes, ready for her hopes, for all she wanted to tell the sky. She looked up, smiling at him, giving him a kiss on his wide lips. She looked at him for a moment, then bent over, plucking the dandelion gently from its base. She stood up straight again, looked at him once and then closed her eyes. She made a wish...and blew, sending her dreams towards the moon.

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