To my goddaughter Pía, whom I love dearly
Ilustration by Sophie Mason
Odi the seed
Odi was a dandelion seed. She was born in a green field high in the mountains, amongst red poppies and violets. Even though it was cold, she always felt warm, for she spent every day and night curled up with her sisters. Together they formed a warm cotton jumper in the shape of a ball.
She was very happy. She adored her sisters and got on very well with the other inhabitants of the field: with Molly the poppy, Sally the violet, Vince the bumblebee, Lola the dragon fly, Victor the beetle…
Suddenly one night, the wind began to blow ferociously. It sounded like the howling of a wolf under the full moon. It blew, and it blew, stronger and stronger. One by one it took away all of Odi’s sisters until she was left alone. She felt very scared and held onto her mother with all her strength. But the Wind is much more powerful than a tiny little seed, and in the end he snatched her away.
She was very cold and frightened. Until then she had only moved gently, swaying in the soft afternoon breeze, holding onto her sisters. Now she floated weightlessly alone out into the dark.
After the long night, finally the light arrived, painting a beautiful landscape which Odi had never known before. First in grey tones, but then, as the sun showed his smiling golden face in the east, the landscape was flooded with a thousand colours. Our little friend was fascinated; what she saw was so stunning that she forgot to be scared.
She remembered Robin, a friendly and colourful bird who had once rested next to her back in the field. Odi, surprised by that new exciting creature, asked him where he came from.
-From the sky- Robin tweeted.
-But only the sun, the stars, and the moon live in the sky- answered Odi.
-And also the birds, for we were given wings to fly- sang Robin happily.
Then Odi realized that like Robin, she was flying too, and she didn’t even have wings! She didn’t feel alone any more, nor did she feel unprotected or defenseless. She definitely didn’t feel scared, she felt free. This new found feeling made her very happy, happier than she had ever been.
She flew high into the sky, over valleys and mountains, rivers and lakes, deep canyons and soft rolling hills. She saw mountain goats with curvy horns hanging from the naked rocks, galloping horses in green fields, peaceful grazing cows, bleating sheep following their shepherd; foxes, cats, chickens, mice; eagles drawing wide circles flying even higher than her… She also saw all kinds of trees: sharp poplars, magnificent lonely oaks, generous chestnuts, pine trees sewing the air with their needles, naked cork trees, twisted old olive trees, round holm oaks…
One day she reached the sea, and she was astonished by its deep blue colour. It was immense! Much bigger than anything she had ever seen before. It sang, and its voice was similar to that of the wind, but deeper. Its movement reminded her when she used to sway in the breeze, curled up with her sisters, in the green mountain field. For the first time she felt sad, because she missed them. She also felt tired.
The wind, who had grown fond of her after sharing such a long journey, sensed her sadness and said to her in his hissing voice that sounded like a whisper:
-It’sssss tiiime toooo ssseparate ssso long my ffffffriend.
Then he stopped blowing and Odi began to descend. She fell and she fell, until she landed softly on the ground on a green island beyond the sea. Sad and lonely Odi fell asleep, and the earth, always so hungry, swallowed her.
She slept for a long time, and when she finally awoke, she found herself buried in the darkness. She felt scared. She was trapped. But then she remembered that long night in which her journey began, and how when the sun came up, with his smiling golden face, the darkness went away. So our brave little friend started to push against the darkness that covered her to head back to the light. And she pushed, and she pushed, and she pushed…
So much did she push that in the end she sprouted, and her head popped out above the ground. She again felt the warm sunlight in her face and again she breathed the fresh air.
What Odi didn’t know is that she was no longer a seed; she had turned into a beautiful yellow flower.