A Tad Sad? "The Lonely Tulip"
We spotted you across the field.
It was April – tulip month. We were in Holland – divine.
Dry dusty earth surrounded you in a sea of beige. Meanwhile, long majestic trains of purple tulips danced in the sunny wind only a few meters from where you stood – stranded, vacant, alone.
How could it be that you were left behind?
You stood tall in your royal purple, but what if you got tired? What friends could you lean on? No one.
We fretted over you. We took photos of you. We wondered why a farmer would pick on all four sides of you – but not you. Our good Dutch-American hearts could not bear to see you in pain.
We dubbed you – “The Lonely Tulip.”
But then we realized – “Loneliness is only a perception.”
What if you loved to stand alone in the sun? Without neighbors, without shadows, your green stem might grow greener. Your purple petals might grow stronger. And maybe your scent might be warmer.
What if the unfettered wind tickled you – instead of knocked you over? Could we hear your laughs?
We even debated picking you – though we quickly abandoned this idea, as we didn’t want to get arrested.
The truth is, you were left there for a reason, "Lonely Tulip," and we respected that, and loved you for it – your beautiful mystery, your solitary grace.
Today, I still remember your colorful silhouette – your dainty purple heart swaying peacefully in the breeze.
This post is dedicated to everyone. I was planning to post this piece in April (tulip month), but I think we could all use a touch of "tulip loveliness" right now. My heart aches for all of us enduring the coronavirus pandemic. How our day-to-day lives have changed, leaving many of us alone in our homes. But, as the "The Lonely Tulip" shows us, sometimes life's rough edges come down to perception. Maybe we're re-teaching ourselves to appreciate life for its simply beauties. There's still nature, good food, and those homebound creature comforts of music, books, and film. We can survive and flourish even in the midst of harsh reality.