|photo by katerina plotnikova via boredpanda.com|
The table is heavily worn, its top littered with spots of peeling varnish, with stains from permanent pens and greasy foods. There are rivets from pencils and dents from toys and when she runs her fingers across its rough surface, a feeling of nostalgia overcomes her. She loves the table. No matter now ugly some might see it, she will always see its beauty.
It’s Christmas time. And every year this same woman invites her family to help her with a new jigsaw puzzle. This year it is the biggest one yet with the smallest pieces yet. And she can hardly wait to begin. She pours the pieces from the clear plastic bag and watches as they tumble onto the table. Some fall right side up. Others fall face down. She lets her fingers spread them out like sand beside the sea, the little pieces sneaking up between her fingers and tickling her just so. She smiles to herself because she might just love this part most of all. It’s when she gets to transform her table into a beauty the rest of the world can see.
“Puzzle’s here! Come play with me!”
When the first family member arrives, he looks at the pieces in astonishment. “Are you kidding me? How many pieces are there? Seriously? A million? There’s no way we can get that done before Christmas. Count me out.” And he turns and walks away.
When the second family member hears the call, she yells from her bedroom, “Nothing could get me to sit at that nasty table and nothing could ever make it un-nasty to me!”
“A million pieces?” says her husband.“I didn’t even know they made such a puzzle. Do you really have the time? I know I don’t. I’ve got other more important things to do.”
Finally the littlest family member arrives, her eyes wide with wonder, her smile lighting up the room. “A million pieces is a lot, isn’t it, Mama?”
“Who does a puzzle with a million pieces?”
“Dreamers do. A million pieces is a dreamer’s puzzle.”
“Are you a dreamer then, Mama?”
“And Mama? Am I a dreamer then, too?
“If you choose to be, darling, then you are.”
“Do dreamers finish puzzles or do they just dream all day long?”
“Dreamers are the only ones who finish any puzzles at all, my dear,” she says with a twinkle in her eye, “because dreamers are the only ones who know that one small act after another changes everything.”
“Even an ugly table?"
“Even an ugly table.”
* * *
Not everyone sees the beauty in the midst of the ugly.
Not everyone is willing to spend the time creating beauty, either.
Not everyone believes such tasks can even be accomplished.
But maybe they would if they realized that every picture is made up of a million different tiny pieces.
Pieces that matter.
Each one as much as the other.
No matter how big or small, no matter how wide or far, if our pieces are placed with kindness, with caring, with an effort to contribute to the beauty of the world, we are making a difference.
We are the dreamers.
We are the lovers.
We are those who dare to dream the impossible into reality.
We are the few who will transform the ugly into beauty.
So go ahead, dream the impossible.
I'll place my pieces while you place yours
And together we''ll transform that ugly into a beautiful reality.