She was just a child; young, innocent and pure the day she brought the flower to the man with the gun...
War had been her life, from the time of her birth her village had been occupied by foreign soldiers. They said they had come to help her village, to fight for freedom but she even in her short life had seen too much death to believe this to be true. Her heart told her that freedom was hers by right, hers by birth, hers to have and to hold through the simple act of living and loving the life she lived; she did not understand who it was she should be fighting against.
They came with their guns, their tanks, their military way of thinking; destroy or be destroyed – kill or be killed, but it hurt her to bear witness to their pain. She could see it there, in their eyes, even as they strolled through the streets acting tough and brave she could see the sorrow. She could feel the anguish and she understood in her innocence that the anger came from their need to be there. They knew they should not, they knew to kill was not right and that to take any life was a crime against nature but she also knew that they were here because they believed they had to be here to protect the innocent, to protect children like her.
None of it made sense but it was the way it was and what power did a small child have to change the ways of the world...
She remembered the day, a day like all the others and looking back she wondered even now if that day had been destined to be different. A man had come into the village, an enemy soldier, wounded and bleeding... He had fallen to the ground, crying out for help. It was in the nature of her people to help any and all who came to them for aide so the locals had approached the man, unafraid of his weapons, believing themselves safe from harm, protected by their good intent. One of the young men on ‘her’ side, a young man in army clothes had tried to stop them, tried to hold them back but they came forward ignoring his shouts of protest. His eyes fired, full of hot flames of rage at the disobedience of those he had sworn to protect, it took only moments before the man who had always been their friend to turn the gun on them. Yet she saw and understood, from somewhere deep inside she heard the truth of his anger; it was so very clear there written on his face.
His people had come from so very far away, to protect them, they had died for them, to defend them and in this moment, here he stood wondering if all had been wasted. She could see the conflict within, see his turmoil, and at a loss for what to do she stood rooted to the spot waiting for the first shot to be fired, wondering who among her village would be the first to fall. Out of the crowd limped an elder, a wise man of her people and with slow deliberate steps he approached the soldier and placed his hand on the barrel of the gun. He cooked his head slightly to the side expectantly, calmly he motioned for others to take the wounded man inside the nearby hut. The soldier lurched, for only a moment in the direction of the hut and then seemingly having the last will to fight drained completely out of him, he too crumbled to the ground at the feet of the old man with gentle eyes.
Silence reigned, not a word was spoken as the soldier lay weeping at the man's feet lost in despair for all that he had seen and done; despair for the life that he had lived...
She had looked down then at her feet, not wishing to see his pain and there in the sand stood a lonely flower, white and fragile... and she knew now what she had to do...
Offering it her thanks for the life of it that she was taking she plucked it from the ground and carried it to the soldier, tenderly she placed her hand on his chin and lifted it so that she may see his eyes. She offered up the flower, placing it in his trembling palm. She reached out her hand to him and as he placed his in hers she felt the warmth of his love for her and her people and understood why this man had come so far to protect a way of life he did not understand.
He rose, and they walked together to the hut, where the flower was placed by the side of the enemy soldiers bed and the two men sat in silence while the village folk tended his wounds. Days went by and after much praying the man began to heal , and all the while the other soldier stood guard by the tent protecting him from harm until he could again stand on his own. An understanding and peace had come to the soldiers within the village, a message that had been spoken silently by the people that lived there, that here in this place there are no enemies. Here in this place there is only peace. The story spread, after the soldier was well enough to carry on his way, he took his story to others, and by word of mouth the miracle of one little girl with a flower became the most popular tale in the land.
Many years had passed, and the wise old man with the gentle eyes had passed with them, the soldiers had long gone and her people, they yet remained. She was not so young herself anymore she reflected as she strolled to the center of the village where the celebrations and feast for harvest were about to begin. Here in this spot, she as elder of the village, would now tell the tale again, a story of a small child with a flower who ended a war.
You see not so long after the soldier had left their village, the enemy troops had come and laid down their guns, offering a truce in honor of the man from the other side of the world who had guarded and protected one of their own. The ripples of that moment had spread out and touched the hearts of those who heard it and the movement for peace had begun with a new understanding... that peace cannot be bought or won by killing, only through caring and healing.
Odd she though now, as she took her place in front of her people to tell the tale; that until that day nobody had ever understood the power of one child with a flower and life altering potential in the act of laying down a gun.
Niki Norlock, author of Truth - My Synchromystic Journey