Flowers in the Desert: A Lesson in Recognizing Love

· January 11, 2017

Has love ever knocked on your door, and you’ve doubted whether to open it or not? Maybe you doubted whether it was really love, or something else. It isn’t always easy to recognize love. How can you be sure of it?

With this story, we’ll show you that love can be confusing, but there are signs that can show you when you’re trying to plant and water something that isn’t a flower. Enjoy reading!

Camila lived in the desert and had never seen a flower. 

One day, a flower shop opened in a nearby desert. They also sold fruits and vegetables, but Camila didn’t notice those. She was amazed only by the flowers; finally she would know what it was like to admire and smell one! According to her family from the countryside, there was no other sensation in the world that could compare.

Slowly, she looked through the catalog of seasonal flowers and noticed a flower with very thin, reddish violet petals that came out of a kind of chrysalis with green leaves. “Oh, what a beautiful flower, and what an ugly name,” Camila thought when she read that it was called a thistle.

Camila was embarrassed to order the flower

When she called to make her order, she was embarrassed to call the flower by name and say “I want a thistle,” so she described it instead. In less than a half hour, the delivery man arrived on his camel and gave her a paper bag.

Camila didn’t know it, but what the delivery man brought wasn’t a thistle, it was an artichoke. She brought it to her nose and didn’t smell any sort of intoxicating fragrance. The petals, instead of being delicate, seemed rough and cold. Still, she wanted to put it in water, just in case it needed time for the violet petals to come out of the chrysalis.

artichoke

It was a very sad week for Camila, because every day she went to look at her “flower,” but what she saw was that nothing, nothing at all, had changed. And then a tragic day came: the artichoke started to rot.


“How can my family and friends say it’s so satisfying to have a flower when it’s caused me nothing but worry and sadness?” Camila asked.

She buried what was left of the artichoke in the desert with a brief ceremony. After a few days she recovered and encouraged herself to try another flower. “Maybe a more resilient one will make me happy,” she thought before leafing through the catalog.

A second attempt after the first failure

Camila found another flower with purple petals that, according to the advertisement, was quite resistant to high and low temperatures. It was called ornamental cabbage.

However, this also struck her as an ugly name, so once again she described it to the florist.

After 20 minutes, the exhausted delivery man gave her another bag, asking why she made him travel half the desert for a mere cauliflower.

From the description, the operator had understood that what Camila wanted was a purple cauliflower, and because she had never seen a flower, she thought it was a type of that cabbage she wanted, until her “purple moss” went bad.

Once again, she put the cauliflower in water to keep it alive, but instead, the cauliflower rotted, giving off a foul smell. “Oh, that’s horrible!” Camila exclaimed the day her tent became contaminated with the stench. She buried the vegetable in the desert – without a ceremony – and called her older sister, who had worked in a garden when she was young.

How to recognize a flower

“Those weren’t flowers,” her sister assured her. “I don’t know what they were, but they weren’t flowers. You can recognize a flower because it’s beautiful without a doubt, and it definitely smells good. This is how it is, always. Except if you don’t take care of it, of course, then it would wither,” she continued.

She ended the conversation by saying: “when you see a flower, you’ll recognize it, without a doubt.” Months went by and Camila dedicated herself to other things, took up old hobbies and friendships. When she had almost forgotten about flowers, someone knocked on her door.

Flowers always arrive without warning

It was the delivery man. He had just delivered some vegetables to the tent next door, and it occurred to him to bring her a gift, since it had been a long time since she made an order.

The man took a violet plant in a small ceramic pot out of the camel’s saddlebag. Camila was in awe: “that, that…that’s a flower!” she exclaimed as she looked at it up close and inhaled its aroma. “It’s unique, poignant, as if upon smelling it I become one with the flower,” she commented.

purple flower

The delivery man smiled, and as he left on his camel, he was happy that he didn’t bring Camila the beet that he first thought of giving her.

The message of this story is clear: love can’t be argued or doubted; it either is or it isn’t. Love comes without warning and fills you with happiness. If it looks like love but gives you doubts, it can do no good for you, and is surely something else entirely.

*Original story by Mar Pastor

If There’s No Tenderness, It’s Not True Love