I wish I still had the simple thoughts of childhood. My Grandchildren keep reminding me.
The dandelions were the first flower she noticed. The field was full of them. She ran, bending over, scooping up one here and another there. Soon, she had a handful. She brought them back to our porch.
“Cookie, Grandpa, look at the Dan-De-Lines I picked.” She was excited, like Christmas Morning Excited!
“Here, take one. You make a wish and blow all the feathers away. When you blow them all away, your wish will come true. You have a million of them in your yard.”
She held a Dandelion up close to her face. A deep breath and a moment to form a wish. Then the white feathers were floating away in the air. Magic!
I didn’t tell her I already knew about making wishes. I didn’t tell her I’ve been blowing the feathers off Dandelions for sixty years. I just smiled. Most of my real wishes had come true. I’m a grateful man.
Next, on another day, another one of the little girls.
She saw the white blossoms in the yard. Wild onions, I think. She ran and picked a big handful of them. Somewhere, she found some purple flowers and some tall yellow ones also. She mixed them. A bouquet. She didn’t know about the bitter weeds. And, it doesn’t matter. Twenty or thirty stems. A big handful. They were pretty to her. That’s what counts.
She shushed the dog away when he came up to smell.
“They’re for Cookie and Grandpa!” she said. “Not for you!” looking down at the dog. The dog didn’t understand a word. But he knew about bitter weeds.
“You have to save them! They’re so pretty.”
Cookie found a glass, filled it with water. The flowers stayed fresh for a week, maybe ten days. I wish they could have stayed fresh forever. I hated to throw them away. Even with a yard full of them, the ones she picked, well, they were special to her. And, more than special to Cookie and me.
The third little girl brought a wild rose to Cookie.
“Close your eyes and open your hand, I have a gift for you.” She was holding her gift behind her back.
“Here, this is for you. I picked it myself. You have to be careful when you pick a rose. They have thorns. Thorns will hurt you.” She said. Proud. “I didn’t get hurt. I was careful.”
I witnessed pure love.
We were gone for a few days. A road trip. When we returned, someone had carefully placed another handful of wildflowers on the threshold It was one of the girls. The sun had wilted the blossoms. The colors were starting to fade. The stems had dried and curled from the bottom up.
She had not forgotten, she wanted to give Cookie something pretty, something nice.
Just a handful of wildflowers, picked from the yard.
Or, a heart full of love. Something to treasure.
Granddaughters and wildflowers.
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