The Rare, Tiny Flower illustrates a deeply touching and thoughtful poem by Kitty O’Meara that, in the form of a parable, celebrates difference, tolerance, and unity. Written by O’Meara in Fall 2020, The Rare, Tiny Flower is in many ways thematically similar to And the People Stayed Home in that it is a commentary on difficult current situations in our world and offers hope for resolution and growth.
The poem features a mysterious flower that looks different to each viewer, which leads to strife as everyone insists that their vision is “right.” Leaders and even a botanist are unable to agree on the nature of the flower—it takes a young girl to point out that the flower is, in fact, quite multidimensional. Remarkably, she has the ability to be heard by the squabbling masses, who then see beyond their fighting and commit to connecting with one another.
O’Meara’s thoughtful poem includes people realizing and voicing this important lesson:
So much to fix, too many false starts, no time to waste in uniting our hearts. All of creation is precious and rare, and everyone has a color to share!
“There are many problems facing the world today, and we’ve sadly seen, again and again, that when people are overwhelmed as they may choose to allow anxiety to mute their spirits and gifts,” O’Meara says. “When voices rise in anger and fear, no one can be heard. Reason and imagination depart. In The Rare, Tiny Flower, I wanted to show that every voice, every gift is here to meet the world’s needs. Space and time for listening and peaceful reflection are vital. We need to grant this to ourselves and others so we can reunite and get to work respectfully and creativity.”
Kitty O’Meara lives near Madison, Wisconsin, with her husband, Phillip Hagedorn, their five rescue dogs, three cats, gardens, and books. Formerly a middle school writing and literature teacher and hospital and hospice chaplain, she is currently a spiritual director and has been a lifelong writer and artist. She has been called “the poet laureate of the pandemic” based on her wildly popular, widely circulated, and hopeful poem about the Covid-19 pandemic. That poem is illustrated and presented in book form in And the People StayedHome, her first print book, published by Tra Publishing. The Rare, Tiny Flower will be her second published print book.
Quim Torres is an award-winning illustrator and author based in Spain. He has illustrated several children’s books, including the recent titles Alera i Perot, How Grandpa Disappeared, Quel mari pour Jolie souris?, Contes et légendes d'Espagne, and Tant de gust senyor Calders, and he is the author of the middle grade novel Constel·lacions, forthcoming from Babulinka Books in 2021. He has studied art as healing and Gestalt psychology, and he teaches workshops in which drawing becomes a means of self-discovery.