There was a row of large windows in Mrs. Bergstrom’s first grade class at Washington Elementary. It was in the spring. I was eagerly awaiting my birthday. She gave each of us a small paper cup. We got to place the dirt inside with tiny shovels. Then a small bean. We stood single file in line to give our beans a small drink at the fountain before placing them on the window ledge.
Our six or seven years on the planet so far had not supplied us with much patience. We snuck peeks all afternoon to look for sprouts. Of course nothing happened that afternoon. Nor the next. Nothing was growing. Certainly we had overwatered, and underwatered and overexposed and overpoked. Then, just as we had almost given up hope, or interest, one started to sprout. It was Gerald Reed’s. He had two little green leaves. What magic we thought. No one else had anything.
The day of my birthday, my little girlfriends gave me little girly gifts, all pink and delightful. I was rosey faced all day. The afternoon sun shone through the windows as I packed my bag for the bus. I could see there was a little dirt around my cup. I went to the window. And there it was – the most glorious green sprout! It was a birthday miracle, I thought. Then I followed the trail of dirt to Gerald’s cup. It was empty. My heart grew. It was a miracle indeed – I had such a friend!
We all have something to give. We all have room to grow. How beautiful!