In a garden, there grew a sage and a belladonna.
The sage’s blooms were of vibrant red hue, but despite his fiery color, he was quiet and gentle as the wind on a clear night.
The belladonna’s blossoms were deep violet as dusk, but despite her pretty color, she did not find herself pretty.
The sage and the belladonna both loved stories. Being side by side, they began to tell one another stories. And the sage found he was fine with not being so quiet, and the belladonna found that maybe she was a little bit pretty—or at least their stories were, and that made her happy.
The sage was a healing plant, although he did not know it. Often those who have a natural gift for healing do not know it, because it is simply part of who they are.
The belladonna, however, was poisonous, although she did not know it. Often those who are toxic may not know it, especially when they think they can heal, too.
And being side by side, their roots began to intertwine. While the sage’s roots were soothing and curing to the belladonna, her roots were slowly blinding and poisoning the sage. But she did not know that, for all the while the sage seemed happy and took the poison without complaint.
The other flowers in the garden saw this, and some could see how the belladonna was poisoning the sage. But what could they do? They were rooted where they were, and it was not their place to tell them the truth. And the sage and belladonna seemed so happy, it made the other flowers happy too.
Then the gardener came into the garden, and saw how the sage was being poisoned by the belladonna. As the gardener knew the sage was valuable and curative, while the belladonna was not. So the gardener uprooted the belladonna, and threw it out of the garden, into the brush just outside the garden’s fence.
Somehow, the belladonna rooted herself into the earth outside the garden, and continued to thrive. But she was sad without the sage by her side, telling her stories. Without the sage’s healing touch, all she had left was her own poison, and it festered in her core, and pooled up inside of her until it was all she felt and all she knew. Her pretty color faded and withered, and there was a crack in the place where her seed had once been. Things with cracks in them can still function, can still go on, but they simply do not work the same as they once did.
And the sage was sad too, for a time. But without the belladonna’s poison, he still had his healing touch, and gradually the poison dissipated and he was healthy and whole again. New flowers grew in around him, and were good company, and they told stories to one another. Nice stories, funny stories, but different from the ones he had made with the belladonna…
Sometimes, the belladonna wondered if he missed the old stories…
Even as many summers tumbled by, and winters roared through and departed again and again, there was still a crack in the seed of the belladonna, and even as she learned to live with it, sometimes it still hurt…
But she knew now she was poisonous, and that staying out of the garden kept the sage safe.
The sage would never know it, and he would never hear her stories or her words again…but the belladonna would always keep a thought of him tucked in that tiny crack of her seed, and somehow that made her feel just a little bit more whole. From her place in the brush, she could see through the fence how he continued to flourish and blossom and laugh in the garden.
And she was happy for that.