Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Oddity

It was an odd thing--something for Ripley's.  Everyone thought so.  Both young and old and all those in between would stop and stare and wonder.  It stood bravely upright against the push of humanity from all sides--a silent yet colorful contradiction to the concrete, asphalt, grime, and litter that was the legacy of a race in lethal pursuit of ambition. "How could it be?" someone would say.  Another pointed out weeds sometime grow out of a crack in the pavement, as if to remind us of our delusions of beauty. Yet another would clarify, "This is no weed.  And there is no crack, either.  It has just come up as if it had pushed itself through the cement from somewhere deep below."  Everyone nodded in agreement, secretly enthralled by the loveliness shining before them they had been taught long ago couldn't happen. Some looked up and all around for a camera or other evidence of a hoax. Others brought themselves close and sniffed in a fragrance of indescribable splendor.  Still others gently touched the pedals, delighted to discover their softness exceeded their promise.  There were those, too, disquieted by the phenomenon.  "It's not natural!" someone opined in thinly veiled trepidation.  Many gave the flower a wide berth, suspecting it had been cleverly placed there to lure them into something.  The oracle remained steadfast in all its resplendent colors, day after day through inclement weather and sun.  The bloom never closed at night; and even gave off its own special light. It became a place for people to come together.  A happening where those who came with food or wisdom liberally shared with those who did not.  Those who couldn't recall the last time they had smiled, grinned and pointed.  Faces that for eons had mingled in nonrecognition, became as kin.  Before long the laughter and chatter around the flower challenged the din of industry that seemed to sulk.  The tints and hues of grays and blacks and soiled whites soon grew unbearable.  Slabs were cut away, and trees and planters and fountains installed. Gardens rose up alongside places that made light the revelry and camaraderie. And then it happened.

Song birds arrived and nested in the burgeoning trees, filling the air with a palette of melodies rivaled only by the creatures' varied colors.  It was an odd thing--something for Ripley's.  Everyone thought so.