Today I'm participating in a blogfest hosted by fellow writer Nick Wilford, currently based in Scotland. In recent posts on his blog, Scattergun Scribblings, Nick recently shared that his stepson, Andrew, has cerebral palsy. Andrew is ready for college. Nick and his wife want to send Andrew to Beaumont College in Lancaster, an institution they feel would best accommodate Andrew's needs and interests.
Hoping to raise funds for Andrew's college tuition, Nick is hosting a blogfest where we can share real experiences, flash fiction, or poetry about overcoming adversity. My post for today, along with the posts of other participating bloggers, will go into a special anthology and be sold through Amazon.
I want to commend Nick for all his efforts to provide for his stepson's education and wish him lots of luck in this endeavor.
A Cup of Nothing
This is based on a true story. This story doesn't show adversity in a way that demonstrates what most would consider genuine hardship. However, regular readers of my blog know I like to use metaphors and analogies to convey my ideas.
When I was in elementary school, kindergarten perhaps, the teacher passed out some cups with our names etched out on the styrofoam with a ball-point pen. She directed us to fill the cups with soil and plant seeds inside. We were to gently water our cups of soil every day and watch the plants blossom.
Soon after planting the seeds, many of my classmates boasted of the little green plants growing out of their cups. With diligence, they continued to water their cups as they happily watched their bright green friends continue to thrive. Even my classmates who didn't have plants popping out of their cups still had tiny leaves lining their soil, a promise of bigger and better things to come.
At the start of each school day, I approached my plant hoping to see some hint of growth. But nothing ever sprouted from my cup of soil. And when I say nothing, I mean NOTHING, not even a teeny tiny wisp of a leaf. Still, I watered my plant with a quiet hope that the following day, something green would greet me when I arrived to class. But the next day...still nothing.
One dark morning, in my frustration at the barren soil that housed the seeds I’d planted, I dumped a cup of water into my little styrofoam cup. The water weighed heavily in my cup and the styrofoam tore.
That was the end of that. Better yet, that was the end of nothing.
I didn't get another cup of soil with new seeds to grow.
Years later, I received a plant as a gift. In the back of my mind, I feared this plant might shrink back into the soil because I was its caregiver.
I set the plant in the sun and gently watered it every day. And slowly, it grew. Like a yogi reaching for the clouds, the greenery bloomed and stretched and reached out, as if it wanted to tell the world, "There's more from where this came from."
Months after receiving the plant, I had to trim it because its leaves spread out all over my desk.
Although nothing came from one of my endeavors, a lush green plant came from another.
Sometimes we need to give ourselves a second chance.
Have you ever given yourself a second chance with something?