It was a warm, autumn day and Delilah the Tulip stared at the soil. The same soil she stared at for the last month of her life. She remembered how she grew from just a seed to sprout. She wanted to go back and feel the way her body stretched and pulled from the soil into the fresh air. She longed to be near the pond where she could stare at her reflection. She wanted to see her reflection for the first time in forever. Daisy and Rosie got to feel like water in their roots. Delilah looked around, hoping that someone could offer words of comfort. She cried and dew poured from her skin. She began to feel very still. She drifted in and out. The wind on her petals no longer had that cooling effect that she loves. She wanted to feel alive again. It felt endless and pointless and numb. She had no purpose.
She opened her eyes to a beautiful breeze rushing over her delicate body. The sensation didn't last long though. She watched as a petal fell from her body, down to dry soil. She stretched her roots towards the pond, but it was no use. She was stranded. Completely stuck. Winter was coming. Oh, how she wanted there to be snow on her petals.
Day by day, she watched as her petals fell. One after the other. Until, one day, a butterfly came by. Her name was Dandy and she wanted to help Delilah. She called for Olivia, her bee friend. Olivia came and sprinkled little drops of yellow fluff all over Delilah's thin body. Delilah felt alive like never before. She felt so fresh. She thanked Olivia and Dandy as they flew away into the afternoon breeze. She wanted them to come back and give her company and comfort.
Winter soon began and Delilah began to feel bitterly cold. The pond was all frozen stiff and the water was no longer refreshing. The soft dew made her stem shake and freeze. She no longer could feel the sun on her petals or watch the clouds roll up above her head. There was no refreshing breeze, only a sharp, bitter wind that cut at her soft skin. She was a young flower, with no experience of hibernating in the winter. She just assumed that the other flowers had died and she was the last one. She shivered and quaked and cried and moaned. She couldn't wait for spring, the warm spring that her friends had told her about. Her eyes closed as she wished to live till spring.
She opened her eyes to a wonderland. A bright and beautiful place of warm weather and sunny skies. All the other flowers were flowing in the wind and dancing with the bees. The birds were so happy. The noise was so loud, but it was magical. Like a fair in the summertime, everyone had their favorite place to be! She had to be dreaming or in heaven. She had no idea where she was. Oh! There's the pond! She saw Olivia and Dandy and Daisy and Rosie! She wasn't dreaming at all! This is spring! She had made it to her destination! She had lived to see warm weather with beautiful skies and deep blue water. She saw fish dart around in the pond. How she longed to be a fish or a bird. Maybe even a butterfly. She loved to see all her friends so happy and alive!
She spent her days singing with the birds and chirping with the bugs at night. She listened to little children playing and parents sipping cold lemonade with ice that hit the side of the cups with satisfying sounds. And soon, spring turned to summer. School ended and the little children had more time to run and play. Summer turned to autumn. Autumn turned to winter. The cycle continued. Delilah grew up. Delilah grew old. Never once was she by the water. She never could stand by Daisy and Rosie. She could never sing like the birds or fly like a butterfly, but she was happy. Happy to be her. She no longer feared cold weather. She learned that she was built to survive all weather. She was confident that she would live forever. Deep down, she knew this was false confidence, but she didn't care what type of confidence it was. It was confidence and that is all that matters. She took it day by day. Finding happiness in each day was much easier now.
One day, a little boy came and picked Delilah. Plucked her right out of the ground. It stung as she was ripped from the soil that she had loved so dearly. She longed to be back in her home, but just like always, she was not in control of her destiny. The little boy handed her to a little girl. "Here you go, Amanda!", he said. "Thank you, Thomas!!", she replied. Delilah loved the feeling of the little girl's hand around her. She felt like she finally had a purpose. Joy was her purpose. She gave Amanda joy. Amanda placed Delilah in a glass jar with some water in it. Delilah was happy here. She felt the water in her roots. She closed her eyes and imagined that this was the pond that she had always wanted to be near. Day by day, she sat there. Catching an occasional glance from one of Amanda's family members. One day, she lost strength. The water no longer supported her roots. The water was dirty and mucky. She felt fatigued and sick. She began to wither. Faster than ever before, she withered. Her petals were laying on the floor, lonely and without a home. She longed for someone to watch her. Watch her as she took her final breaths. She had always thought that it was better for someone to watch her wither than leave her alone to wither. She wanted to know that someone understood that her life, as small as it may be, is valuable. She wants someone to know that she is important. She has a story and she wants to be seen as her story ends. So yes. Watch me wither.