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Thursday, April 21, 2011


A day in the life of a Tulip

As I sit here, wracking my brain about what to write about, it’s hard for me to think about spring. Huge snow banks still cover my lawn, cold winds still blowing and snow falling lightly from the pale cover of clouds in the sky. I close my eyes and try to imagine the warm sun, the budding trees, the burgeoning flowers breaking through the hard ground. But the only thing I see is white. Sigh… So I thought to myself, what do I do best? Write?

Deep beneath the cold ground, Spring awakes its birth. Tulips scattered about throughout the tunnels ache for their release. They know before they have a change to breathe air, the crocuses will break through first and tantalize the viewers to a promise of warm weather. Oh how they envied the crocuses.

It had been a long cold winter.

Tiny sprigs as they may be, the tulips fight for their survival. Some were not going to make it, those that just weren’t strong enough, others who were impatient and gave up, others who weren’t planted correctly and weren’t able to grow as they should. But she was strong, determined. She was not going to give up.

Stretching her tiny limbs, Calista whispered to her sibling. “How much longer do you think we’ll have to wait?”

“That is the tenth time you’ve asked me that this week. Do I look like aI have the inside scoop?” Ruby snorted, turning away from Calista.

She wasn’t much liked among her siblings, though Calista had no idea why. She was no different than her siblings other than being a different color. She had the same limbs, the same cup, the same fragrance. Yet they shunned her.

“My brother, Simon snuck out and he said the ground is still covered in snow.”

She turned to the tiny ant cuddling up to her bulb. “Really? How much snow?”

“It came to the knees of the humans. I think we have a long wait ahead of us still.” He scurried off and Calista sighed.

“Why are you so impatient, Cali? Spring will arrive when it’s ready.” Ruby stated with a clip in her voice.

“I’m tired of waiting. My limbs are aching to sprout and I’m starting to feel sluggish.” She didn’t want to feel this way and tried desperately to break of her gloom. Problem was, it was already the end of March and the snow should have melted faster than it was.

“Yeah, well we all feel the same but you don’t see us complaining.”

“Doesn’t it bother you that some of our sisters won’t make it through this long dreary cold season?”

“That’s the way life goes.”

“Well I’m tired of it. I’m tired of year after year, waiting to be born, watching my siblings give up and die. I’m going to make a stand.” Where had that come from?

“Sure you are, Cali.”

“Will you both keep it down. I’m trying to get some rest,” Scarlet Marvel groaned.

“I’m perfectly serious,” Calista whispered. “Why should the Crocuses get all the attention in spring.”

“Um, because they’re the first to spring into life.”

“Sssshhhh!!” Scarlet bellowed.

“Well I’m tired of it. I want to be the first for once. I want to break through and be the attention of the humans.”

“You’ll never survive.”

“I’m determined.” She would do anything to break free.

“It’s your death then.” Curling up, Ruby drifted off to sleep.

“It wouldn’t be her death. It would be her life. Digging deep within herself, Calista willed her sprouts to grow. The ache was well worth it, and little by little her limbs began to grow. She would break free of her solitude and raise her head high in glory. This was her shining moment. She pushed herself, forced her limbs to grow, forced the bud of life to break out of its shell. She would be the most beautiful of all her siblings, even if she was hated by the Crocuses. Grunting, growing, enduring the labor, the pain, Calista felt the ground give above her. She was doing it. She would feel the air in no time.

The chill began to seep into her stem but she pushed it aside and carried on her journey. Not even the hard ground above her was a deterrent. She pushed, dug, and when she finally felt the ground give, cried out as she broke through.

“You’re crazy. You’re going to die.”

She ignored her sisters and made her final journey into life. Sprouting from the ground, she tilted her head up to the warm brilliant sun above her. It felt so wonderful on her aching limbs. She breathed in the fresh air, smiling to herself as she looked around her new home. Yes there was snow, but not as much as the ant had stated. Water coated the roads and sidewalks indicating it was giving in to the heat of the rays above them.

She’d made it and now she was going to enjoy her new found life.

“Sally, Sally, come look at this.”

Calista turned her attention to the gentleman rushing toward her. A middle-aged woman soon came up beside him.

“Is that—”

“Yes it is.”

“How is this possible? The ground is still hard from the winter.”

“Must be one determined flower.”

She felt him dusting the snow that surrounded her away. “We need to keep it alive.”

“How will we be able to do that? They’re calling for light snow tonight.”

No, no more snow, Calista thought in anguish.

“I have the perfect idea.”

She saw him run off while the woman sat admiring her.

“You are a beauty. This is a sign, Oliver. Spring is coming.”

“Damn straight it is. And this will help at least out little one here.”

Calista watched as he set a tall silver stand over top of her. It had a cone like top with a funny bulb-like thing inside.

“A heat lamp?”

“Works for the chicks.”

Calista blinked as the bulb inside shone with a brilliant bright white light. It felt warm and she tilted her head to feel the heat. Now this was life.

“She’s our first.”

“And we’re going to baby her.”

Calista watched as the couple embraced while standing over her. She was loved. She had life. Oh how she wished she could tell her sisters of this wonderful gift. Grinning, Calista watched the snow around her melt, felt the ground begin to soften and suddenly realized…She was the first.

Shiela Stewart
Cafe Press Store


Maria said...

Very cute story of the Callista the tulip! Thanks for sharing it with us.


Rebekah E. said...

Thanks for the story.


Judy said...

I really loved your post. It was sad in a way, but hopeful:) I live here in the South and the pecan trees are budding and roses are beautiful. Hope your snow will soon be gone for now!!


chey said...

Nice story!
chey127 at hotmail dot com

Liz said...

I'm a Southern Girl trapped in a midwest climate where snow flies from November to.....April! So I feel your and Cali's pain. Lovely story Sheila. Gives me hope (along with the sun FINALLY breaking through SE Michigan clouds!) Going shopping for Derby Weekend get ups this weekend so that will help too!
keep up the great work

Cassie Exline said...

Excellent story that captured how I feel -- so tired of winter and being cold. Great ending.

(cassieexline at yahoo dot com)

Shiela Stewart said...

Thanks so much everyone for posting. recenlty (and I know I'm jinxing it) we've had beautiful warm weather. So far though, I haven't seen any of my bulbs pop from the ground. soon i hope. I'm glad my silly little story was liked. I couldnt come up with anything to write about and this story just popped into my head and I thought, why the hell not. LOL

I hope everyone else is starting to feel the warmth?

Maureen said...

I seldom see tulips where I live. Not cold enough in the winter! But I do love it when I do. Thanks for the bit of brightness!

Hope you get your tulips soon.

The Sweater Curse said...

Go Cali! Sending her warm rays of sunny from a island two provinces away.

Shiela Stewart said...

Hi Maureen!

to me, it isn't spring until I see one popping up. So far, I haven't seen any. I'm trying not to get depressed about it and am determined that spring is indeed finally here. LOL

hey Leanne!!

Hope the weather is great in your neck of the woods. I hear you've been getting some storms lately.

Hales said...

That was totally adorable!!!!

Shiela Stewart said...

Aw thanks Hales!!

Gracen Miller said...

What a sweet story! Loved it, Shiela!

I'm in the south, so it's already in the 80s here some days, and 70s most days. Wish I could share it with you!


Angelwolfstorm said...

Loved the story! And the picture is beautiful as well!

Sarita said...

Gorgeous photo! It's snowing here on my daffodils, ugh!

Shiela Stewart said...

Hi Gracen!

So glad you enjoyed my story. :)

Maybe if you wish realllll hard I'll get your warmth. :D

hi Angel

I'm glad you enjoyed the story. :)

Shiela Stewart said...

Oh no Sarita!! I hope it doesn't last.

Jean P said...

Thanks for the story, had tulip bulbs planted one year, but the squirrels got them, so no more tulips.

skpetal at hotmail dot com

booklover0226 said...

Oh, the story was very nice, indeed. Thank you for sharing.

Tracey D
booklover0226 at gmail dot com

Janice said...

That's a darling story.

Cathy M said...

Very sweet story, Shiela, and it definitely gets you rooting for the first touch of spring.

caity_mack at yahoo dot com

Shiela Stewart said...

Hi Jean!

Those damn squirrels. I hope they stopped picking off your flowers?

HI Booklover, thanks for stopping by.

Hey Janice, great to see you here. Glad yu enjoyed my story.

Hi Cathy! I'm so touched at the responce to my story. Glad everyone likes it. :)

Robin said...

Beautiful story! Thank you!

JM said...

Ahhh, I was rootin' for her.
Sorry, couldn't resist. What a cute story! Thanks for that.

cheryl c said...

Lovely story!
castings at mindspring dot com

EdgesAngel23 said...

That story was so beautiful! What a determined little tulip! I loved it!! :) Thanks for the great post :)
Ashley A

Shiela Stewart said...

Hi Robin!

I'm so happy you enjoyed the story. Thanks for stopping by.

Hi JM!

LOL, great pun.Thanks for stoping by.

Hi Cheryl!

Glad you enjoyed it.

Hi Ashley!

It's overwhelming how my quirky litle story had touched so many. Thanks for stoping in.

Terra Pennington said...

Hi Ms. Betita,

Great interview and sure wish I could see the coast of California. Know it is beautiful.


Terra Pennington said...

What I would like to know is what is that white stuff on the ground? Ok I am being bad. Beauitful picture and I know will be glad to see spring and grass.


Shiela Stewart said...

HI Terra!

Thankfully all that white stuff has melted now. LOL

Thanks for stopping in.

Ruth C. said...

Loved the tulip story.!! One of my favorite songs is THE ROSE.

Shiela Stewart said...

Hi Ruth!

I love that song too. I love singing it on Karaoke. LOL

Sarah Ahiers (Falen) said...

Yay for the tulip! Mine still haven't bloomed so this makes me happy

Anonymous said...

What a sweet story. I have always loved tulips. Maybe I should plant some for next year.

user1123 AT comcast DOT net

Shiela Stewart said...

Hi Sarah and Stacie!

I'm seeing a lot of sprouts now but its a little slow this year. I can;t wait to see the beautiful colors when they finaly start to flower.

Thanks for stopping by.