Last Thursday marked a historical moment for me.
I picked up my daughter, for the final time, from a daycare center that has cared for both my kids for the past nine years. As much as my kids, I’ve grown up at that center, and it felt strange to walk away.
I honored the day as most moms do: I brought cupcakes, and I bought a new book as a gift for her classroom. Decorating the cupcakes was easy; choosing the book was difficult.
But, the one I found bestows a message that’s been sitting with me for days.
In The Curious Garden, Peter Brown writes a beautiful story about a boy who discovers a treasure, a tiny garden in an otherwise barren piece of land. With little knowledge about gardening, but a passion to grow something new, this young boy weeds and trims and waters and sings to his little patch of green. The plants come to life, and they begin take root in new places.
Then, winter sets in, and the boy can no longer get to the garden. He doesn’t despair, though. He turns to books on gardening, and, by spring, he is ready: armed with more knowledge and better tools and an even stronger drive to foster his plot into something bigger and more beautiful.
By the book’s end, the small patch of green has flourished and spread, and the boy’s spirit is contagious. I love this book, for everything it represents: nature’s resilience, the fruits of our labor, the persistence of a young boy who knew nothing in the beginning but did the work anyway.
You can see where this is going, right? Walking away from one phase in my daughter’s life pains me, but the message I discovered in the process was worth it. Not only am I extremely grateful for the gifts of knowledge this daycare center, and the teachers, have given me and my kids. But now, I leave there with yet another lesson: cultivate that which you love.
Here I am, trudging my way through this novel writing business, perseverating (some days) on the fact that I have so much to learn about the craft of writing and story structure. But, the passion is there, and my story is taking root and flourishing, little by little.
What about you? Are you fostering something new today?