Lessons from a blue cup
She’s always writing me notes, drawing me pictures, giving me hugs and telling me she loves me. She’s been like that ever since I can remember.
During her first year of school, she cried every day for three months. It was heart-wrenching leaving her every morning, knowing she was so sad. Later that year, some of her classmates started crying as they began to miss their mums. She said to me: “You know, I’m sort of glad that I cried so much, because I know how they feel, and I know how to help them.”
Always looking for the best in a situation.
One thing she loves to do is pick flowers. This is something she has done since she was old enough to walk around by herself. Always picking flowers. Sometimes it was the one hyacinth that I had grown painstakingly in a pot — bulb and all. Other times it was just the flower-part of our camellia tree (not quite sure how to put that in water!). Other times, she’d scoop up all the petals under our peach and almond trees and put them on the kitchen bench because it ‘looked pretty’.
I have long given up on telling her not to pick the flowers in my garden. After all, they are there to be enjoyed.
Over the weekend she ventured out into the beautiful spring day and went picking again. After some time, she came in with this bouquet of gorgeous colours — and very short stems!
“Oh, they are gorgeous!” I exclaimed. “Thank you so much!”
“I picked them for you because I love you and I know you love flowers,” she said. “I’ll just put them in a cup.”
So off she went to the cupboard and pulled out a blue plastic cup. She filled it with water and plonked the flowers in it.
“Do you like them?” she asked.
“I love them,” I said.
Upon closer look, I found all kinds of flowers among them. Flowers from various trees, lavender, snow drops, daffodils, camellias, nasturtiums, some forget-me-nots and a few weeds.
But to her they weren’t weeds. They were vibrant, yellow flowers, perfectly complementing the arrangement she had made. And it did look beautiful.
It made me think how often we overlook beauty simply by its definition. To my daughter, the weeds were not ugly. I don’t think she even realised they were weeds. She saw their colour, their beauty and their uniqueness, and included them in my bunch of flowers.
The blue plastic cup was also a unique choice to place my flowers in. She chose it because it matched the blue flowers she had picked.
See. Thoughtful, giving and seeing only beauty and potential.
When she left the room I had a closer look at the flowers in my cup. I looked past what is deemed to be ugly and ‘not quite right’, and saw the weeds for what they were — pretty, unique and a part of life.
What about you? Can you see past labels and definitions to find the real beauty and potential that lies waiting to be discovered?