Posts Tagged ‘flower’

The Little Grape Stem

Once upon a time there was a little grape stem. This stem was so glad
to be alive… She drank water and minerals from the soil and grew and
grew. She was young and strong and could manage quite well… all by
Herself — or so she thought.

But then, the wind was cruel, the rain was harsh, the snow was not one
bit understanding, and the little grape stem suffered. She drooped,
weak and suffering.

It would be so easy to stop trying to grow, to stop trying to live.
The grape stem became weak! The winter was long, and the stem was weary.
But then the little grape stem heard a voice. It was another grape
stem calling out to her… "Here, reach out… hang on to me." But the
stem hesitated.

"What would this mean?" she thought, for you see, the little stem had
always managed quite well… all by herself.

But then, every so cautiously, she reached out towards the other grape
stem. "See, I can help you" it said. "Just wind your tendrils about me
and I will help you lift your head." And the little stem trusted…
and suddenly she could stand straight again.

The wind came, and the rain, and the snow, but when it came, the grape
stem was clinging to many other stems. And although the stems were
swayed by the wind, frozen by the snow, they stood strongly united to
each other. And in their group supporting strength they could all
smile and grow.

Then, one day the little stem looked down and saw a tiny stem,
swaying, frightened. And ‘our’ grape stem said, "Here, hang on… I
will help you." And the other little stem reached up to ‘our’ grape
stem, and together all the stems grew… leaves budded… flowers
bloomed… and finally, grapes formed… and all the grapes fed many.

The Late Bloomer

A cactus stood all alone in the desert, wondering why it was stuck in
the middle of nowhere.

"I do nothing but stand here all day," it sighed.  "What use am I? I’m
the ugliest plant in the desert.  My spines are thick and prickly, my
leaves are rubbery and tough, my skin is thick and bumpy.  I can’t
offer shade or juicy fruit to any passing traveller. I don’t see that
I’m any use at all."

All it did was stand in the sun day after day, growing taller and
fatter. Its spines grew longer and its leaves tougher, and it swelled
here and there until it was lumpy and lopsided all over.  It truly was
strange looking.

"I wish I could do something useful," it sighed.

By day hawks circled high overhead.

"What can I do with my life?" the cactus called. Whether they heard or
not, the hawks sailed away.

At night the moon floated into the sky and cast its pale glow on the
desert floor.

"What good can I do with my life?" the cactus called. The moon only
stared coldly as it mounted its course.

A lizard crawled by, leaving a little trail in the sand with its tail.

"What worthy deed can I do?" the cactus called.

"You?" the lizard laughed, pausing a moment.

"Worthy deed?

Why, you can’t do anything!  The hawks circle way overhead, tracing
delicate patterns for us all to admire.  The moon hangs high like a
lantern at night, so we can see our ways home to our loved ones. Even
I, the lowly lizard, have something to do.  I decorate the sands with
these beautiful brushstrokes as I pull my tail along.

But you?

You do nothing but get uglier every day."

And so it went on, year after year.  At last the cactus grew old, and
it knew its time was short.

"Oh, Lord," it cried out, "I’ve wondered so long, and I’ve tried so
hard. Forgive me if I’ve failed to find something worthy to do.  I
fear that now it’s too late."

But just then the cactus felt a strange stirring and unfolding, and it
knew a surge of joy that erased all despair.  At its very tip, like a
sudden crown, a glorious flower suddenly opened in bloom.

Never had the desert known such a blossom.  Its fragrance perfumed the
air far and wide and brought happiness to all passing by.  The
butterflies paused to admire its beauty, and that night even the moon
smiled when it rose to find such a treasure.

The cactus heard a voice.

"You have waited long," the Lord said. "The heart that seeks to do
good reflects My glory, and will always bring something worthwhile to
the world, something in which all can rejoice… even if for only a