“You must be a wise woman,” the soft voice snuck around tree trunks, each letter of each word slithering and twining to come together like so many tendrils of fog rising from the forested floor. “Where I come from, only the best are gifted with marks such as yours.”
“Who’s there?” Chandra hugged herself against the sudden cool breeze, subconsciously covering her shy owl tattoo in the process. “What do you want?”
She slowly turned circles in the small clearing, watching the mist roll over the lush, green grass at her feet. “I’m just out hiking today. All I have is some bottled water, but I will gladly share it if you come out and show yourself!”
“No one ever offers us drinks,” another voice tittered from the other side of the clearing, “We usually do the sharing.”
“A wise woman indeed,” the first voice responded, “Let us leave the hiker to her trail. Good travels friend.” The voices, now tinkling with laughter akin to the sound of silver bells, faded away into the filtered murk of the trees and took the mist with them, leaving Chandra alone once more.
Directly to her left was a clearly defined pathway that she would later swear had not been there when she entered the clearing. In the center of the path’s head was a ring of bright flowers, and in the center of the ring was one of her water bottles, now empty but for a small seed.
Confused, frightened, and ready to leave the woods, Chandra snatched up the bottle and hurried along on her hike.
Later, as she unloaded her pack, the bewildered woman found a fresh, fluffy, flowered headdress and note with two simple words scrawled in an elegant script, thank you. Shaken to the core and oddly touched by the tokens, Chandra carefully planted the lone seed and cared for it daily. Soon there was a shoot, the sprout, and then a bloom. The plant thickened, the blooms spread, and within a few short weeks the small seed became a waterfall of green, bursting with a riotous display of swirling colors on the moss rose petals.
Each morning, year round, Chandra would awaken to the smell and sight of new blooms on her rose, all the old blooms having been pruned as if by magic. Each night she would fall asleep to the sounds of laughter and music drifting through the house as if on a gentle breeze. And though she would never tell her gardening secrets or confess the truths behind her actions, Chandra left a small tea set and a full bottle of water beside the plant at all times.
May Your Blessings Outnumber
The Shamrocks the Grow,
and May Trouble Avoid You
Wherever You Go!
~An Irish Blessing
Have a Blessed and Safe St. Patrick’s Day!