Narcissus. Pronounced: nar-SIS-əs. Latinized form of Greek Narkissos, possibly derived from narke meaning “sleep, numbness.” Narkissos was a beautiful youth in Greek mythology who stared at his own reflection for so long that he eventually died and was turned into the narcissus flower.
“But Father, we want this so much!” The children leapt from their beds and stretched. “The sun is warm, the robins are singing, the earth is calling, please let us perform today.”
“I’m telling you, the time is not yet right.” Father gathered them in his loving arms and set them resolutely back in bed, pulling the soft brown cover up over their heads. “Just a little while longer, I promise.”
“Not fair,” they wailed. “You never let us do what we want to do! We’re ready.”
Father smiled. “My little ones, it’s not about just you, and it’s not just about what seems good. It’s about what’s best. Trust me. You may think you’re ready, but I’m not. I’ve seen ahead. I have great plans for you and for those who will be blessed by your performance. Again, I say trust me. Something else must happen first.”
To Narco, the most brash among them, Father’s words were insufficient. “I don’t see why you can’t just tell us what’s going to happen.”
“Because, my dear Narco, I shouldn’t have to prove myself to you.” Father’s gentle voice had already soothed some of the younger ones to sleep. “I’m inviting you to trust me, not because of what you think you know, but because I’ve never let you down before.”
Ignoring the whines and protests of those still awake, he kissed the row of budding children and closed the door, resuming his business.
In the darkness, they stewed with a sullen awareness of the warmth radiating above them. Narco pulled back the covers.
“I don’t care what he says. We’re missing everything. Life is too short to spend it in the dark. I’m ready NOW. I’m going up!”
With that, he sprang from the bed and shot upward. His glorious mane unfurling as his arms stretched for the sky. He lifted his face toward the sun and beamed, drinking in its bourbon-like rays from head to toe.
“Take that, Father! I told you so!”
One-by-one, his siblings followed, peeking shyly out from their covers and then, gaining courage, unfurling to greet the sun. A collective, joyful sigh filled the air.
Settling down after a sweet opening-day performance, the children felt a slight chill in the air. As night fell, the winds began to howl. The little children cried and searched desperately for the way home, but the doors had all closed.
“Just a minor set-back,” shouted Narco over the din. “Stay together. The sun will be back in the morning.”
And so, they huddled together in the cold, sobbing through the night, as layer upon layer of snow settled over them, each heavier than the last. At some point in the night, Narco felt a sharp pain in his waist, which caused him to bend nearly double.
When morning came, they could no longer stand. Their frozen hearts could no longer sing. Their beautiful manes had shriveled and hung limp.
Narco shed a single tear, which dripped from the cup of his face onto the snow-covered ground and froze on contact, merging his lovely petal to the earth.
“Oh, Father, why didn’t you stop me?”
Desire without knowledge is not good, and whoever makes haste with his feet misses his way. — Proverbs 19:2