The Perfect Flower

January 8, 2011

Windflower
Image by Anders Adermark.

The task was simple enough. She was to find the perfect flower.

It was to be white, and sweet-smelling. But it also had to be not far removed from bud, and with double petals.

It seemed simple enough.

With those directions the green riding hood set out, young, but not little — and dressed in green because red did not become her at all. It may have been beige too, but the colours of her attire are of no consequence to her story.

The green riding hood had not ventured far before she found a flower. But red, and in full bloom, it was far from perfect.

One with double petals was blue.

A sweet-smelling one was not white.

One was in bud, but covered with thorns and not perfect at all.

Indeed, the entire forest, it seemed, was abloom, although none of the floral faces was perfect. The perfect ones seemed hard, if not impossible, to find. Still, she had her task, and it was to be fulfilled. So she ventured further, unwilling to admit defeat.

All of a sudden a sweet scent reached her through the warm mid-summer air, and she followed it to its source. It proved white, but although fine, it was not perfect.

Though white and endowed with a sweet scent, the flower had a single row of petals, and was withering, far removed from bud.

The green riding hood looked at it, sighing, wondering: Why could it not be perfect? Why had it to be merely fine?

Had it not been for a persistent voice in her head, whispering: “Beyond, beyond, beyond!” she might had settled with a flower that was merely fine, but as it was, she continued her search, leving the mere fineness beyond.

As so often happens to young women searching for flowers in the woods, the green riding hood eventually stumbled upon the same, merely fine, flower anew.

She sat down by its side, brushing against the blossom itself, wondering why the fine, but not perfect, flower could not be endowed with a double row of petals, and be nearer to bud. Indeed, after this long an excursion, she would have settled with a sole row of petals, but the flower being withered was what rendered what otherwise would have been perfect, merely fine.

Despite there was a voice still in her head telling her to move beyond, beyond, beyond! she could not leave the flower. It was fine — better than any she had found thus far — but is was not perfect. Never the less, she remained by it, waiting for the solar cycle to encourage the flower to turn away from her; for she could not be removed on her own accord.

It seemed strange, she thought, that something that was fine and perfectly acceptable could not be perfect. The voice and its “Beyond!” reminded her thusly, although she herself doubted — as much as she feared — there was any flower more perfect to be found.

The flower before her was sweet-smelling and white; what if all the other flowers were equally fine, and there were no perfect flowers to be found? What if the ones with double petals were red, and the ones still in bud would bloom with the most horrendous of scents? What if the white, sweet-smelling bloom before her was indeed perfect, only that her doubts failed for her to realise and conclude that indeed was so?

As the day passed and the flower followed the sun’s path with its floral face, the green riding hood sat by its side, unable to leave it, waiting for it to turn away on its own accord.

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