Viewing life curiously.
When I was in the second grade I had to learn and recite Christina Rossetti’s poem Who Has Seen the Wind. My mother helped me study and practice it. She also said that she thought it would be a nice touch if I held a dandelion while reciting it.
As she drove me to school on the day of the recital, I peered out of the window of the backseat looking for a dandelion, yet there were none to be seen or found. Upon entering the classroom, I was additionally saddened by the site of each of my classmates holding props to accompany their recites.
When Mrs. Blackburn requisitioned my presence before the assembly, I rose to my feet with sudden dismay, caused by my concern for lack of a much-needed prop. Just as I approached the massive staircase to encroach the stage, Debbie Snipes appeared from the shadows with her arm extended to reveal her tiny, little hand, with perfectly manicured nails painted like tepid ladybugs, holding the most gigantic dandelion I’d ever laid my beady eyes upon! Her gesture of kindness completely shocked me and I was illuminated by her gentleness even more as she smiled and said, “I picked three of these things this morning outside our classroom window. I blew the other two away and as I was just about to cast this one into oblivion, I remembered you were doing a poem about the wind. So, I held onto it for you. I hope there’s enough of the fuzzy stuff left on it. Would you like to have it?”
My heart forced as smile on my face that spoke the words of gratitude Debbie must have understood, because before I could say anything she said, “You’re welcome! Good luck! And don’t forget your words!” And with that she spun on her heels and was engulfed by the shadows almost as quickly as she’d appeared.
Debbie and I become best of friends and were practically inseparable until my family packed up, three years later and moved 800 miles away. Although I don’t know whatever became of her, each time I see a dandelion Debbie does cross my mind, as does the poem that I recited as eloquently as a 6-year-old could holding a gigantic dandelion with just enough fuzzy stuff left on it.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither I nor you:
But when the leaves hang trembling,
The wind is passing through.
Who has seen the wind?
Neither you nor I.
But when the trees bow down their heads,
The wind is passing by.
Christine Rossetti 1830 – 1894