Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Rose, The Hummingbird, and the Astronaut.





Once upon a time, there lived a little girl named Rose. She had a hummingbird that hummed around her in the lush flower gardens of her youth. She didn't have any siblings, her and the hummingbird lived in the garden and greeted visitors enthusiastically. Rose was bubbly and easily amused,  so she was able to entertain the visitors and she befriended everyone. None of the visitors ever stayed for very long. When she was very small, Rose used to cry and cry because she was filled with grief and longing for her friends and cousins who came and went. Everyone enjoyed their time in the garden, but they always had to go back to their own lives. Rose yearned to go with, sometimes grabbing their legs and begging them to stay and the strangers would politely remove her from their legs and tell her "big girls don't cry, goodbye now Rosie".
The hummingbird noticed how little Rose hurt and heard her cry. The hummingbird decided to fill Rose with dreams, something greater than the people who would always have to leave. So...with the help of the hummingbird, Rose learned to ride a bike. She was so insecure and so scared the hummingbird would leave her, and she made the hummingbird promise to never let go. They went back and forth several times, Rosie refusing to get on the bike until the hummingbird promised again, and again, "I won't let go!"
Finally, Rose got on the bike, the hummingbird let go...and...Rose didn't crash. She rode a long ways before she realized no one was holding her, and then she started crying when she realized she was alone...and crashed. The hummingbird caught up, trying not to laugh, and told her "you were flying too fast for me, I lost my grip." Rose threw a fit and cried and sulked and vowed she would never forgive the hummingbird.
The next day, she was on the bike again. Eventually she realized the hummingbird wasn't teaching her to ride a bike, it was teaching her to fly. Rose didn't have wings, she didn't look like a bird, and certainly didn't feel like one, but she zoomed around on her bike. She raced the wind down the winding path she knew so well and then raced back in terror time after time to find the hummingbird laughing. "I'm so proud of you!" always awaited at the end of her mad dashes of freedom. There were no reprimands, no belittling words, only love.
One day Rose was watching a play with her birdie, and the bird could tell she was getting worked up over something. Rose had that look she gets when she's piecing something together. A mixture of determination, anger, and...a kind of glazed look, like she's seeing something really far away. The bird hummed around her face until Rose snapped out of it. She looked at the bird and said, "why can't I be the one on the stage looking at all the pretty lights?"
The bird was perplexed, and worried. She had worked so hard to build Rose's confidence over the years and she knew that it would take one tired comment to throw it all in the trash. Rose was fragile, breakable, too little. The hummingbird wasn't about to let her put herself at risk for harsh criticism and disappointment, so she said "Rose, they are acting. They don't let you do that unless you can make yourself cry on command." The bird thought this was a simple enough explanation, and enough to deter Rose's curiosity. Rose put her head down and covered her face for a moment and looked up at the bird with tears streaming down her face. No one said anything for a long, tear-filled, agonizing minute. The silence and stares of onlookers were suddenly pierced by Rose's laughter. "I CAN CRY! I CAN CRY!" she screamed, beside herself with glee.
A resounding ::gulp:: came from the bird.

-to be continued-

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