A young person revisits a memory of meeting someone who taught her a valuable lesson about the spirit of friendship
Nothing stood in her way, she worked hard and was thankful for even the smallest of victories.
I met a girl once, with long brown hair and the deepest of deep green eyes. Through that which she lacked, she gained so much more. I was eleven.
Mum sent me to Sunday-School where she thought I could learn the lessons of life. Maybe it worked. What I learned I will never forget.
The girl sat down beside me in a cold steel chair in the cold brick room, on a cold Sunday morning. I stared at the gas heater on the other side of the room; others prayed for those less fortunate, but I prayed for warmth. I gave up and turned towards her - she smiled without hesitation.
Beneath the din of others talking, we laughed, we joked, we shared stories. She had just been with her Dad on a canoeing adventure. My uncle had taught me how to fish for trout from his yellow ski-boat. The warm discussion made the cold room bearable, and the time passed quickly. We were placed in activity groups based on our age. She was ten. We sat together again. The move exposed us to the cold. Everyone sat rubbing their hands under the table.
Cold, hard lumps of clay were placed before each of us as we were told to use our creativity to make something meaningful. Moving her hands towards the table, what I saw next shocked me at first. Each hand bore nothing more than a little finger, but one which I found could perform the task of five fingers. With her clay, she made a magnificent elephant, a remarkable giraffe, Both made my feeble mouse seem all the more insignificant.
Over the years, our friendship grew stronger as we saw more of one another. I saw her conquer challenges; from flying foxes to doing up shoelaces, using a hammer to putting on watch bands. Nothing stood in her way, she worked hard and was thankful for even the smallest of victories. She laughed when the Reverend gave her the well-meaning "always willing to give a hand" award.
I met a girl once, with long brown hair, and the deepest of deep green eyes. Through that which she lacked, she gained so much more. She let no feature become her shortcoming, no disability disable her; She defied the world to try and make her submit. Least of all in generosity, spirit or diligence.
It was not enough to become ordinary with what she had been given. I don't see her anymore, but I remember her lesson to me as clear as it were yesterday. Fortune doesn't make people. You end up being only as warm as you make yourself.