Huffing and panting, I perched myself on the wooden bench under the maple tree, now leafless and apparently lifeless, that stood right in the center of the vast garden. Thankfully the new-year-fitness-resolution-crowd has thinned and the park was now dotted sparsely with regulars as January was about to say goodbye in a week’s time.
Closing the eyes, feeling the breath calm down to the normal cadence while soaking the feeble yet cheerfully yellow early morning sunshine, I was enjoying the state of bliss as the distant chirping of the birds played the soothing music enhancing the aroma of the cold, damp grass. Thought of a dandelion, from nowhere, or maybe from my subconscious which might have noted one while jogging; swinging to the gentle breeze, singing its own song of happiness wafted across my mind.
A nudge on my shoulder however made the dandelion disperse in the wilderness of reality. As I turned, a sunny broad smile greeted me.
“Bonjour”, said he with his French ascent while taking a seat next and adjusting his portly, a bit long in tooth self.
“Hey, David, you there! Bonjour”, I replied. His beaming face and chirpy nature are infectious and before one knows, it rubs on to you. “Have been missing you since the last couple of days”, I asked with a genuine concern for he was a man of routine, as unfailing as the Sun rising every day at East!
“You better!” he winked as his wrinkles made a fancy dance on his jovial face. “Jo was not keeping well. But is better now”, continued he with a hint of disquiet.
“Oh, I see. And What about Nala? Has she settled in the new house well?”
“You bet! She did! She hit it right from day one. Jo however missed her much. He has taken it to his heart”, he sighed. “Accepting the reality was never easy for anyone”.
He paused for a long uneasy moment. “It comes with practice and time is the only solution”, said he with his gentle trademark smile returning back on his face erasing any and every hint of gloom that might have existed in a long-lost, fragile moment of time. Opening his bag and he pulled out a fresh croissant and a can of juice.
“Mind joining in?”, he checked as usual with the same sincerity as always.
“Thanks buddy, but I am running late”, I replied while getting up for my last two laps of the garden. “Some other day. Bon Journee”
“Bon Journee” he greeted with a slight nod of the head, raising his hand and waving me goodbye.
Catching speed, I finished my first lap. I could now see David enjoying his breakfast and engaged in conversation with someone, some other fitness regular at the park, who had joined him on the bench. From a distance, I could notice his friendly demeanor and gleeful disposition. He reminded me of the dandelion that lingered in my thoughts just a while before. ‘Is he not a real dandelion’, I meditated as my pace now had slowed down to the rhythm of the last lap, a short of few meters on my way to exit.
‘David the dandelion, how apt!’, reasoned my mind. Having lost his wife a few years back, after four decades of blissful togetherness, with no kids, he led a life of solitude all by himself reminiscing the time spent together. However, he continued their tradition of foster care. Together they had made for the perfect pet parents of the stray dogs from the neighborhood. Some of the neighbors however found it as a nuisance and a possible threat to their lives. But that never dithered them from their chosen path of bliss. Caring and raising the strays till they were adopted, gave a purpose to his void life, a meaning his lone existence, a reason to look forward to another day till it was time to move on to the other side of life.
Some see a weed, some see a wish… but that doesn’t stop the Dandelion to sing its happy song, be what it is and live life to the fullest… so did David…I must say, David The Dandelion!!!