FLOWERS: Short story & photography by Gail Seymour  

Once upon a time a busy man was looking for a place to live near his office in a bustling city. Pressed for time, he called a Realtor, asking her to find him several easy-to-keep houses to look at. A few days later the agent called the man back, saying that she'd found him a lovely little brownstone with a small garden in the rear. "Garden?" asked the man. "What's in the garden and how much will it cost me to keep it up?" "Not much," said the woman, "and it's usually brimming with flowers year round." "Well," said the man, "I'll have to think about it."

A few days later, the two of them toured the tiny house, which was more than adequate for the man's needs. They walked through the house and out the back door to see the little garden, thick with flowers of every conceivable color. "Nice flowers, aren't they?" asked the woman smiling. "Guess so" replied the man, "but I'll have to find somebody to take care of them." Not knowing much about flowers, the man asked his neighbor's gardener for advice. "Ain't never seen nothin' like it 'round these parts" said the gardener, scratching his head. "So you think maybe they're weeds? asked the man. "Guess so," said the gardener.

The man bought the little house and told the gardener to "pull all those scraggly weeds and plant some shrubs like everybody else in the neighborhood has." A few weeks later, the Realtor came by to pay the man a friendly visit and inspect the house. "What happened to the beautiful flower garden?" she gasped. "Those scrawny things?" he scowled. "I decided to get rid of all those dreadful weeds." "Oh, my!" said the woman. "The previous owners were world travelers. They spent years collecting and cultivating rare wildflowers from every continent." "Sorry, said the man, "but my gardener told me those were weeds, and now they're gone." And so it is with people who are closed to the possibility of something new and different and beautiful.

© 1997 - 2012 Gail Seymour / GSPI. All rights reserved.

The Wall. Cortona, Italy © 2009 Gail Seymour / GSPI. All rights reserved.

Are you a wildflower like me? If so, you'll appreciate this piece for its symbolism. I wrote it after someone called me "weird", which happens occasionally to highly creative people like me who think outside the box. When I was younger, I was insulted when someone called me "weird". But now that I'm older, and hopefully wiser, I actually take it as a compliment. I smile and say, "Thank you!" That really puts them off. If they have the nerve to take it a step further and say, "You realize that I didn't mean that as a compliment, don't you?" I say sweetly, still grinning, "Yes, I know, but in my world there are only two kinds of people weird and boring. Which one are you?" Gail Seymour

Red Poppys. Tuscany, Italy © 2009 Gail Seymour / GSPI. All rights reserved.

Wildflowers. Tuscany, Italy © 2009 Gail Seymour / GSPI. All rights reserved.
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