Wishing On Thistledown

Normal service resumes as I bring you day five of guest week. Today’s writer giving us her perspective on Scotland’s upcoming Referendum on independence is the wonderful, whimsical Lily. She is such a creative, inspiring person who constantly challenges me to see the world in a new light, to notice things I hadn’t before, to go on adventures, to see wonder where we wander. What’s more dear reader I married her. Lily blogs over at https://bringmesunshinelily.wordpress.com/

When the bright and purple flower atop a green and spiky plant starts to die it does not jut disappear. It might appear to if you don’t look. If you watch it turn slowly grey as the plant stops sending it nutrients you would be mistaken in thinking it was the end of its time. But for those who turn away on a blustery day, distracted perhaps or not ready to watch a proud flower meets its end, they miss its greatest trick.

I grew up in England. I’m Northern English born and bred. A fierce, Red, Lancastrian Rose. I’ve spent time living all over England, and everywhere I’ve been the wishing seeds have been too. I don’t remember who taught me to wish on them but I know I’ve been doing it my whole life. They float along like a cross between a star and a feather, hard to catch and hard to keep hold of. I would leap after them as a child and now as an adult I gently approach them so as not to disturb the air around them.

As a child I held the captured seed close and whispered my wish into its feathery arms. As an adult I hold it delicately and half wish, half pray before letting it go. I like to think about how many whispered prayers and wishes mine might be joining, all holding tight to that seed.

It wasn’t until I moved to Scotland I realised what those sees were. The last, brilliant trick of a dying thistle. SO many seeds, so many wishes, off to create a new thistle. The same, but different.

Perhaps I should have stopped believing in them then. But for the flower of Scotland to have magical seeds seemed perfect. Scotland who chose the unicorn for their national animal. An animal which is hard to catch and always fights for its independence. A creature which means boldness, intelligence, healing and joy. Scotland where the lion, so tamed and subdued in England, runs rampant. A country of myths and fantastical histories. Where the forests are rain-forests and the lochs are full of dinosaurs and some of the beaches are whiter than Hawaii. It’s always been a far away mysterious country ‘up there’ where magical things become real. A place where wishes should too. Yes I still believe in wishes and prayers but I’m no fool, I’ve seen The Princess and the Frog. I know wishes aren’t as simple as they seem:

Yes, you wish and you dream with all your little heart. But you remember, Tiana, that old star can only take you part of the way. You got to help him with some hard work of your own. And then… Yeah, you can do anything you set you mind to.

So what is my wish? My prayer? What do I whisper to my thistledown?

I wish for this referendum to be an example. To see that this process can be peaceful, fair and equal. I wish that both sides could be humble, positive and honest. I wish that Scotland was independent in a way that helped it be passionate, creative and strong.

Finally I wish and pray, as a Scottish resident and as a Lancashire lass, that Westminster would smell the roses, thistles, daffodils, shamrocks and WAKE UP!


One comment

  1. […] James showed us a new scene, Scott showed us some scenes of a political nature, Lily wished on thistledown and Dave penned the penultimate piece. Now it falls to Rhona (me Ma!) to give us the closing scene. […]

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