The Marigold


Julia Lindo

I am an Aries, meaning I’m supposed to be driven, curious, and passionate. I have lived and breathed this horoscope. Mentally, I’m anchored. Obdurate and independent. I am driven and passionate to live life with no regrets. Emotionally, I’m prevailing, able to endure the blessings and cruelties of life. I am curious about how I will handle the natural courses of existence.

I distinctly remember a marigold I planted, at one of my old houses. It was a fiery orange color with a vibrant green stem. I remember thinking how much it resembled a small blaze set in a grassy plateau. It stood out, being the only one of its kind in a giant area occupied by none other than grass and dandelions. It was and eyesore, out in front of a white siding of a small house.

I raised it in a transparent-plastic cup in the back of the classroom on a windowsill, in front of the sun’s radiant shine and in the full view of the outside world. I nourished it with the water from the steel faucet and watched it daily with eagerness. I didn’t want to miss the first bloom, but I missed the bloom I longed to see.

Fully grown, the petals were soft like a faux wool blanket. I placed it directly in my front yard, just inches away from the road. The soil beneath it was a dark brown from the moisture of having been just watered. The sky above it was a baby blue color, with no clouds, save the one strip that resembled a piece of yarn being separated into individual pieces. I received the marigold as a fourth-grade Mother’s Day project.

“When you give this to your guys’s mom, be sure to say ‘Happy Mother’s Day!’” my teacher said.
I remember jolting off of the bus, doing exactly what the teacher said verbatim.
“HAPPY MOTHER’S DAY!” I yelled as I charged through the door.
I watched the flower shrink in the distance as the car pulled away. The orange blaze slowly became covered blades of grass until it became no more.

I remember the marigold because it embodied my passion, drive, and curiosity. My drive comes from the flower’s natural ability to grow and prosper. Flowers are driven to develop periodically until the time the leaves and petals fall off and the flower dies. My drive upholds me. It’s my stronghold, devoted to me until I no longer have time and energy.

The marigold was passionate about being the only one of its kind, standing boldly in an audience of judgmental individuals. I am the same. Being a part of a racial minority has made me very passionate about breaking down social barriers and inadequacies. I’m putting myself out there more. Bracing myself for the worst and preparing myself to be let down. Like that flower, I stand firmly on the ground, ready for earthquakes that are bound to happen in an imperfect world.

Curiosity is what that flower has. Curious about the world and what it has to offer. It poised itself in the grass, craning around at the world and its wonders. The marigold takes in the world’s imperfect perfections. I am curious about my future. I am aware of daily changes that occur with the passing of time. I am fearless, unshaken by sudden change and impossible obstacles. Inexplicable fears may never be overcame. Shall I be afraid it may take precedence over my capabilities?

I am that marigold. Shedding off the old petals and growing new, standing out in the open, surrounded. Every day I remember the past and climb towards the future, feeling bold and capable. I recall when my current knowledge was in its infancy and my life was just beginning. I remember that marigold.