Issue: Kalopsia (Spring 2017)
Under the stars, I wished upon a dandelion.
I had been wandering around for awhile—minutes? hours? Strangely, as I meandered, the current of passing time wove with the passing trees and the birds’ melodies, and time stopped altogether. The blades of grass bent under my feet, shaping my path for but a split second before the wind gave it strength once again to rebound, erasing all traces of my journey. With no companion but nature—perhaps this journey would be soon forgotten—I continued, my mind aimless but feet confident.
I emerged from the darkness of the woods into a field where only the moon glowed, giving the expanse an unearthly prismatic shine. I looked up: the sky was barren—perhaps for the better. I had wished upon a multitude of stars a multitude of times, each time with the same wish, in hopes that perhaps one benevolent star would pity me, that that fleeting shine would be mine and add a little sparkle to my life as well. My mom laughed at my futile efforts as she, like everyone else, fixated her eyes on the creaking of gears and shadows of paper. I fixated my eyes on the stars.
Yet, even then, at that moment, for some bizarre, hopeless reason, I never stopped hoping. I continued walking, keeping my head facing upwards towards the sky, eager to catch a glimpse of a star’s wink. When no stars’ eyes were met or even seen, I let my head fall. Suddenly, a flurry of gray flashed before my eyes. I stepped aside and bent down to examine it: it was a dandelion.
It was a dim, grayish array of specks which, despite standing in sharp contrast to its shimmery surroundings, stood tall, stem firm and unrelenting to the wind’s constant tickling and teasing. Unlike its grass cousins who glowed artificially by the moon’s light, which in turn relied on the sun’s, it radiated a unique sort of gentle dignity. Instead of boasting presumptuously like the stars, it reigned over its little piece of earth with humility and confidence.
Instinctively, I reached out to touch it. A whirl of silver dashed down and away, carried by the wind to its new home. The stem was now barren, and the trees roared furiously as the wind and its new seedling companions ran alongside it. They flew along to the whims of the wind, and time flowed once again.
I ran with the wind and the dandelion seeds I had accidentally scattered. Whisking across the grass, past the trees, I remained fixated on these solemn silver specks. And as they drifted, they parted. I focused on one—the one floating highest—and ran, determined to capture this wished wish. Then, in one final and unified act, I leapt upwards, pushing off as I, for a speck of a second, flew. My fingers stretched, then closed. I landed. I felt the seed’s tender brush in my hands and held it tight.
In my hands lay my last chance for a fulfilled wish. I clutched my hands tightly around this final hope and raced back towards the field. My destination glimmered under the moon and against the dark woods that surrounded me. This time, though, I held a light in my hands.
Finally, arriving at the center of the field once more and standing next to the now desolate stem, I gently opened my hands and blew. The silver seed whooshed obediently before drifting slowly and softly and landing next to its old home. I planted my wish right then and there. It remained there, and it was mine.
Upon a dandelion, I wished: that others would marvel at this universe of stars amidst the grass and under the moon’s light—where time ebbed and flowed and remained still.