The air is still and heavy. I am in a field: a vast, never-ending field where nothing grows but weeds. Miles and miles of nothing but what chokes life. So still, nothing moves. I let my eyes drift over the yellow-gold of a sea of…death. My eyes, the only movement in the amber expanse of stillness, drift down, down, down, to my feet. What is this? A flower? Impossible. Not right, for what life, if any form of it, can grow among weeds? So tall, so proud, this fragile flower was swaying to an unfelt wind…in my direction. I knelt beside this anomaly. Studied her velvet pink petals. I waited, waited for her to impart her mystery. How can you be here? What strength lends itself to your stem, that you may stand among that which is stronger? That which would take your life with no remorse? There is nothing, only silence, only stillness…and her, the pink flower.
She should not be here, I thought. Not amongst an army of what would suffocate her life, fade her beauty and siphon her strength. I knew beyond certainty of words that her vitality would not last should she tarry in this field of death. I wrapped my hand around her stem. Soft and strong: virtues I must save. So I pulled, pulled until her roots gave in. I stood with the flower in my hand. Her velvet petals were lying back, bending out of my palm. Her roots, darkened from the earth I had yanked her from, fell in intricate twists and turns as if still reaching for what had nourished her. But I knew she was yearning for what would destroy her. No life can live among weeds. They grow and grow and grow; never-ceasing, feeding on other life to sustain themselves. They take and take until there cannot possibly be anymore and still somehow find more to take.
I looked down where the flower had once been and watched those weeds consume the empty earth. The amber, finger-like stems twining into the darkness, as if they were tilling and turning what had been given to them. I stood transfixed. They were sinuous, moving to a rhythm unknown to any but they. I looked out again across this field. The vastness of the field of death-dealing weeds held a terrifying beauty. The utter stillness, the citrine calamity of this life-stealing realm was…lovely. But wasn’t that its purpose? For what would yearn for the embrace of ruination, if that devil which ruined did not appear lovely?
I looked at my flower I had delivered from death and felt her weep for where she had been. Weep? My heart shattered. Why? Why? Do you not know this land will take you to a place from which there is on return? Why would you weep for that which would spare you nothing? There is nothing, only stillness, only silence.
I pulled the flower closer to my chest, and I wept. I possessed what would nourish her. Truly. But she denied the water of my tears, the sun of my smile, the food of my touch, the strength of my love. I watched in agony as her roots shrank in on themselves. I felt her petals wither. Felt this decay in my soul. Desperation rose within the depths of my spirit. I could not watch whom I had saved from the grip of death die of her own accord. I curled my palms around her decaying form and asked again. Why? Why?
You took my beauty, she cried. You took my health, she lamented. You took my nourishment, my company, my home; they did not. Was I not strong when you found me? Was I not fed? They would not have been the death of me. YOU ARE THE DEATH OF ME! I felt her will herself dead, felt the very last flicker of life leave her. I felt the end of her as she lay against my palm; felt in my very marrow and I grieved. Oh how I grieved. My lovely pink flower.
I knew not how long I stood there, amidst that cursed beauty of weeds. Silent, so still save for the dance of tears down my cheeks, off my chin and onto my clasped palms. Why hadn’t I been enough for her? Why? Why?
I heaved a great breath and opened her tomb. Nothing but ashes was she; laid crumbled out of spite in what would have nurtured her eternally. I gently sifted through the charred waste of her. Was there one piece I could salvage? My despair grew, as my hand uncovered nothing but failure. My flower, broken beyond repair. I flattened the blackened remains on my palms to my chest and absorbed my beloved flower: For I would not abandon her, even in death.
When I had finished laying her to rest, I looked upon what had poisoned her against herself, against me. I felt my anger swell within me, like a terrible, deadly wave of ocean seeking to devour all. No elegant hand of the devil would take life from me again. Never again. I knelt and wrapped both my hands around these amber claws from the earth. And they in turn wrapped themselves around me. Crawling up my arms, straining to drag me down, to rob me of my life. But they could not know what lived in me. Could not know what strength resided in seat of MY soul. But I knew that I could not wage outward war upon. I knew what must be down. So I knelt and let them overtake me. I freely gave them what they would so hungrily rob me of, and when they were done, I let them think they had won. When they released me I lay there, felt my flower against my chest and bellowed: VENGEANCE IS MINE!
I once again knelt, and when I laid hold of these death-dealers, they endeavored once again to take, but I met them with justice. I ripped them from the earth. Great handfuls I gathered and tore. Rending their daggered roots from the ground. Burst asunder their strength. On and on I meted out my punishment to them. Seconds passed, minutes, hours, days, years…eternity. Until at last, I had laid waste to what had once been unfathomable. What had caused death was now dead; made useless. Never to render hateful greed and cloying decay again. I had conquered death.
I stood in the now empty greatness. The void filled with only the darkness of the earth upon the ground and my heaving breath. I closed my eyes and held on to the despair within me. If only my lovely flower had yielded to me. If only she had understood that I longed for her. How could she not have known that my plans had been for her good; to prosper her and care for her always?
I looked upon my chest and stared at the soot mark above my heart. There. Yes, there in the center was a tiny speck of her. So tiny, I had not noticed it before. I gently lifted what remained of my beloved flower into my left hand and knelt upon the earth I had made clean. I shoved my right hand into the darkness and made sanctuary for her last fragment of life. I placed her therein and covered her. I wept upon where she rested. I missed her. I longed to see her face again, to hear her voice, to see her sway. I wept for her, my beloved flower.
When my tears would fall no longer, I sat next to her. I waited. I waited for her to know, waited for her to reawaken, waited for her to be fed, nourished and nurtured by all that I had done for her. And then she came. I watched as she came forward, breaking through that which I had cleansed for her. Only for her. Always for her. Ever for her.
This time she was no anomaly. She was where she should be. By me. She was as she should have always been. Stronger…her stem wider. Her color the strength of the earth she rested in. Where her petals had once been a delicate pink, now rested leaves the verdant color of life. And still she grew, up, up, up. Her strength spread across the sky, shading where I stood. How lovely was she? So very steadfast, so very unshakeable. I reached for her stem and placed my palm upon her. She was malleable, but unyielding. I knew this; now no weed would dare encroach upon her again. She would bend only for me and stand constant and secure in the gift that I had given her. In the sacrifice I had so ardently given on her behalf. I looked upon her, no longer did velvet that clothed her, but uncompromising radiance.
She looked down to me. I could see joy in her face, awareness and…sadness. I did not want regret o shadow the brilliance of her freedom. But I waited, waited again for her to speak to me. Why? Why? She asked. Now there was no silence, no stillness. She asked and I answered. Better to die in the cradle of the Savior that you might live again and do so more abundantly than be withered by the counterfeit beauty of the hand of the devil.