I was born on a sunny summer day, when the sun succeeded in coaxing my mother to open her arms. Alongside me, a million of my sisters also came to life. We were but the finest hairs on a lone dandelion swaying in the gentle breeze.
Then autumn came. The days grew shorter as mother’s life grew shorter. It was time for us to leave. One by one my sisters left, each flinging herself into the whirling wind and trusting it to take her somewhere safe. Eventually there was only me and my youngest sister left. We were the smallest florets, and the most reluctant to take this leap of faith.
The wind twirled around us, whispering stories of what was to be if only we let go; of the broad meadows with a butter-yellow sun shining in the summer, of a little shade beneath a willow tree on the bank of a river. But it wasn’t just us that were holding on, mother was also clinging to the last of her many daughters. But the winds reminded her of how she had once felt like this, and of how she had let go in the end. So she loosened her grip. We shut our eyes and jumped.
The winds took us east. We saw the dawning of many a days, like a shy girl with a crown of flames slowly lifting her head. We saw the way the sunlight slanted and shone through the forest leaves, dappling the winding earthen path that ran through the woods. We saw the way the ethereal silver moonbeams reflected on the surface of a calm lake. We saw the way the little rays of sunlight danced from bank to bank, racing with the rushing current of water. Finally the winds dwindled and stopped, and we floated gracefully down to the surface of the river.
The river took us further east, but this time it wasn’t just a scenic tour. The journey on the river was an exhilarating adventure, like a ride on a liquid rollercoaster. The river bended and twisted, taking us past farms in the far distant, past a fisherman’s hut, past a little pier where a bunch of boys and girls splashed in the water near the bank, and set little boats made of newspaper out into the current. Suddenly the water rushed rapidly with a dangerous purpose, and we toppled down a waterfall.
My sister was flung out of the water as we descend with alarming speed down the waterfall. She settled on a little ledge on the side of the cliff, and buried her roots there. I turned and waved a farewell. She waved back. Now I must make my journey on my own.
The river became calmer and shallower, and turned into a brook. It ran past a corner of a well-loved garden, and settled into a pond. The current used what energy it had left to push me ashore, and I settled my root on the bank of that small pond with crystal clear water.
It was a good choice choosing to settle here. Everyday the children of the house came out to play, and they stare with a wide-eyed wonder at me with my own little daughters. Then came a day when the winds must take my children from me. Gently the smallest of the children knelt down before me, and blew out a sweet breath of innocence. One by one my little daughters let go and flung herself into the wind. I looked after them with a little longing, but remembering my own story, I let go of my clutching hold so that all of them can have their own adventure, each as nice and beautiful as my own.