Xerxes, I read, ‘halted his unwieldy army for days that he might contemplate to his satisfaction’ the beauty of a single sycamore. You are Xerxes in Persia. Your army spreads on a vast and arid peneplain…you call to you all your sad captains and give the order to halt. You have seen the tree with the lights in it, haven’t you? You must have. Xerxes buffeted on a plain, ambition drained in a puff. Your men are bewildered…there is nothing to catch the eye in this flatness, nothing but a hollow, hammering sky, a waste of sedge in the lee of windblown rocks, a meager ribbon of scrub willow tracing a slumbering watercourse…and that sycamore. You saw it; you will stand rapt and mute, exalted, remembering or not remembering over a period of days to shade your head with your robe. He had its form wrought upon a medal of gold to help him remember it the rest of his life. We all ought to have a goldsmith following us around. But it goes without saying, doesn’t it, Xerxes, that no gold medal worn around your neck will bring back the glad hour, keep those lights kindled so long as you live, forever present? Pascal saw it; he grabbed pen and paper and scrawled the one word and wore it sewn in his shirt the rest of his life. I don’t know what Pascal saw. I saw a cedar. Xerxes saw a sycamore.
Annie Dillard
I felt a numb shock as I drove home anxious to get my chocolate flowers and wondering how my mother arranged to get them delivered to me at the exact time of her passing as promised. I arrived home to a note on my door to go to the neighbor on the right. I knocked at the door and the grouchy older man answered. Without saying a word, he went to his refrigerator, opened it and said, I think these are for you.He handed me the large bouquet of fruits all cut out like flowers and dipped in chocolate.It looks like chocolate flowers. he said with a grin, adding I had a few and they were great! I held my delivery. I opened the small envelope and read the card: Dear Jori, We appreciate you showing us homes and although it has been months, we thought of you and wanted to do something nice for you today. I hope you remember us. The Johnsons This was a previous client who was a pastor. He never knew I had a mother who had cancer nor did I ever mention the conversation about the chocolate flowers. It had been several months since I had heard from this couple who were considering purchasing a home. I called the client, whom I haven't spoken to in such a long time. I was confused and wanted to know what made them decide to send me chocolate flowers and why that day, of all days? He said it was his wife's idea to do something nice for someone and they agreed it on it being me. Mrs. Johnson thought of the chocolate flowers.
Jori Nunes