In a silent call to each other, the flowers turn as one to face the rising sun. It’s time.
No ticking of the clock or ringing of the bell is needed to alert the petals. Each, in perfect unison, flutter a greeting as they twist, leaves bowing down in respect.
Like thunder clouds storming in to devour the sun, a torrent of white- seemingly one being- appears, floating, moving closer with every breath but stagnant, motionless.
They near, and we see thousands and millions of fuzzy umbrellas.
The air clears; a man appears on the horizon, hat in one hand, twirling straw with the other over and over and over.
The Wish Catcher.
Somewhere else, far from the man with the hat in his hand and barrel of wishes by his feet, three children frolic away in a field.
The youngest, angelic in face and manner, still learning to walk, plucks a dandelion on a whim known only to her.
Her chubby, childish hands caress the top only to release the snowy fluff that fall like buttons off a sweater.
The oldest, wise in face and manner, still learning the ways of the worlds, senses the barrage of tears and plucks yet another dandelion and presents it to the youngest.
“If you blow on it while making a wish, the umbrellas will fly to the wish catcher on the island of blue and green.”
A hopeful glance. A smile. A tentative blow.
There is only one kind of weather here in the island of blue and green; wish season, where the wishes fall like snow to the ground, coating the grounds with the hopes and childish dreams of so many for the Wish Catcher.
Somewhere in those clouds, there’s the wish of a little girl. A girl, angelic in face and manner, whose wish, blown from hesitant lips, wanders unseen in the crowd of wishes just like it. She waits by a window- one smooth and unblemished, the mirror to her soul- looking out into the moon, wondering about her wish.
Many years later, that little girl, though not so little anymore, still angelic in face and manner, sits by a window, a different one this time- more faded and chipped that the one from her childhood. She still looks outside, though the moon is nowhere in sight. Instead, it is the lights of a dozen other girls who sit like her, behind broken windows that reflect their broken souls.
She still waits for that wish of her to come true. That wish, from a time of innocence and happiness, is the only star that’s continued to shine for her, even when all the others turned their backs on her and sided with the cold darkness that surrounds her.
They too still search for their wishes. Some can still see it in lying on the horizon, as if waiting for them with patience not known to man. But there are those whose worlds have become entombed in darkness, who see not even a flicker of light until it is time for the white to encompass them. Their windows, far from chipped or dirty, lay broken by their feet, the shards piercing them at every turn.
In the island of blue and green, there is no darkness. Even when the set sets, the silvery moonlight and celestial fireworks fill the night, illuminating the skies. No black may enter, no shadow may linger.
Yet every so often, a dandelion wish will crumble, and the silver-gray ashes will fly away into the wind, as lost and forgotten as their wishers were. Those ashes- like sparkling dust, there for a moment, then nowhere in sight- are noticed only by the man with the hat in his hand and barrel of wishes by his feet. For every wish that crumbles, a single tear slips down his weathered cheek, splashing onto the umbrella-covered fields, landing so gently, so softly, and disappearing so quickly, as if it were never there.
He is the Wish Catcher. With the hat in one hand, twirling straw in the other, over and over and over, and barrel of wishes by his feet. So many wishes, so many dreams, so many hopeful faces sitting, waiting by the window. So many little girls and boys, but so little time.