Girl with wheelbarrow


"The distance doesn't matter; only the first step is difficult."

~Mme. du Deffand~



One day, my mother and I were working together in the garden. We were transplanting some plants for the third time. Grown from seed in a small container, the plants had been transferred to a larger container; then transplanted into the garden. Now, because I was moving, we were transplanting them again.

Inexperienced as a gardener, I turned to my green-thumbed mother. "Isn't this bad for them?" I asked, as we dug them up and shook the dirt from their roots, "Won't it hurt these plants, being uprooted and transplanted so many times?"

"Oh, no," my mother replied. "Transplanting doesn't hurt them. In fact, it's good for the ones that survive. That's how their roots grow strong. Their roots will grow deep, and they'll make strong plants." Often, I've felt like those small plants -- uprooted and turned upside down. Sometimes, I've endured the change willingly, sometimes reluctantly, but usually my reaction has been a combination. Won't this be hard on me? I ask. Wouldn't it be better if things remained the same? That's when I remember my mother's words: That's how the roots grow deep and strong.

From “The Language of Letting Go” by Melody Beattie


The following words were written on the tomb of an Anglican bishop in the crypts of Westminster Abbey:

“When I was young and free and my imagination had no limits, I dreamed of changing the world. As I grew older and wiser, I discovered the world would not change, so I shortened my sights somewhat and decided to change only my country. But it too seemed immoveable.As I grew into my twilight years, in one last desperate attempt, I settled for changing only family, those closest to me, but alas, they would have none of it. And now as I lay on my deathbed, I suddenly realize: If I had only changed myself first, then by example I would have changed my family.

From their inspiration and encouragement, I would then have been able to better my country and, who knows, I may have even changed the world.”

from Chicken Soup for the Soul
Copyright 1996 by Jack Canfield, Mark Victor Hansen & Patty Hansen


Life continually presents us with opportunities for achieving what we desire. "Only the first step is difficult." Each time we sense the possibility of a new direction in our lives, we are being given a chance to grow. Sometimes the first step is a big one; sometimes we start to take it almost without noticing; a dream, a book, a conversation. Sometimes growth may come from not taking what looks like an opportunity. Whatsoever choice we make we can be challenged to grow. "The distance doesn't matter." Our road has many branching paths. What we work and pray for is the ability to see those steps clearly, and the strength to take a difficult first step.

~Author Unknown to me~