This is the story of a boy named Gill. Day in and day out he found himself questioning the usefulness of his existence. He felt the flame of greatness burning inside of him, yet all he could see in his life was evidence of a desire to live in pure mediocrity. He felt confused and despondent.
Everyday on his way home from work he would ponder the areas in his life where he might be able to construct greatness. He walked the same path each day, yet each day he felt the joy of a brand new experience. This walk was one of the few pleasures in his life, especially on the days when Mrs. McReery would greet him from her expansive wrap-around porch.
Mrs. McReery was a seventy year old widow, with a furrowed brow and a kind smile. On an afternoon in late May, he felt prompted to communicate more with Mrs. McReery than he ever had before, instead of extending his usual friendly, “Hello. How are you ma’am? Have a nice evening” routine. After being treated to her artfully crafted tea and tea cake, he found himself discussing the problems he experienced with not being able to understand his purpose in life late into the evening. After expressing that he felt like he was called to be great at something, yet not being able to identify a single splinter of greatness in his life; Mrs. McReery observed for a long moment at the animals frolicking in front of her house.
She quietly asked Gill if he saw the two squirrels chasing each other around the base of the large oak tree on the other side of the street. Gill laughed gently thinking Mrs. McReery had forgotten the subject they were previously discussing, as the elderly often do. Mrs. McReery continued, “Do you not take notice the slightest change in the foliage from day to day as you walk home from work? Do you not feel the shift in the seasons? Do you not experience each day a different way despite it’s mundane regularity?”
Gill sat still, understanding that he did indeed do these things she had described. Mrs. McReery then concluded; “You choose to experience life’s simplicity with bold richness. You actively participate in a world where so many choose to reside with passivity. Yet this skill that positively influences every moment in your life, you have chosen to forget. Just because your greatness comes in a form that does not capture the public eye, or provide monetary rewards does not mean that this fortitude is worthless.”
“I’ve never thought of it like that,” Gill replied.
“You’ll find that when you believe you are great, your greatness emerges. It’s not magic. Your belief simply allows your eyes to see the world more completely.” And with these words, and a few more, Mrs. Mcreery sent Gill on his way home.
Gill smiled on his way home in anticipation of entering his bare apartment wherein he would feed his beta fish before not being able to fall asleep due to his excitement for the upcoming day.
~ Raquel Williams, Cedar Falls