by Fr Duncan McVicar on 26/11/2012 -
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 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 colours, 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 like 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 beauty, 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 that young boy, another weed in his hand About to change the life of an unsuspecting old man.
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