It’s the middle of the summer holiday. A lot of sun, a lot of fun, days when you can wake up late without having to hurry to kindergarten or to school. Dia is coming back from the seaside with her parents. In the car, she looks out the window, bored. She starts counting the trees on the side of the road but soon she gets tired of it. What a lovely time they had at the seaside! She swam, she took pictures of seagulls, she saw dolphins. Oh, they were so beautiful!
“When are we going back to the seaside?”
Surprised by this question, her mother replied with a warm smile:
“Well, Dia, darling, not until next summer…”
“It’s far too long! I want to go tomorrow! Couldn't next summer come tomorrow, mum?” she asked with a big smile.
“Well, if only things were that simple…” whispered her father. “First the fall will come, then the winter (and Santa Claus is going to bring you gifts), then spring…”
“Oh, summer is so far away! I wish time could go faster and faster so that we could go to the seaside again… I know what I’m going to do! I’ll write a letter to Santa Claus asking him to make fall, winter and spring go away and leave only summer. I’ll open a gift and then it it’ll be summer, sea, and fun all popping out.”
“Unfortunately, you can’t do that. You must learn to be patient, to wait. It may seem difficult at first, but it’s really fun to have patience, you’ll see. When you’re patient you win more in life. Because you’re not in a hurry, you can see where you made a mistake and fix it; this way everything will go as planed. When you wait, you get more good things than when you are in a hurry.”
“Ohh!! I think this patience thing is very annoying. Summer is so far away… I wish winter were here at least. In wintertime one can play with snowballs or make a snowman… Winter will be here sooner, right, daddy? How can I make winter come faster?”
“Yes, winter will come sooner than summer. Still, you will have to wait. Week after week, winter will come closer and closer. The summer too. But you must learn to wait. Until winter comes, every day must count as every day is important. You must enjoy every day of your life, all of your days can be fun and beautiful.”
“I have an idea!”, her mother says. “Let’s go to a flower shop when we get home.”
“A flower shop? Why?” asks Dia.
“You will see. Be patient,” her mother smirks. “We will get some special flowers. They will be your teachers and will teach you how to be patient.”
But when they get to the flower shop, they only buy some small packages with flower seed. Dia had imagined some big, blooming flowers and instead she just got a handful of seeds:
“Didn’t you say you were going to buy flowers? But we only have some seeds. They don’t even smell good. What will we do with them?”“If you will take care of them, the flowers will grow. Let’s plant them!”
Next day Dia looks to see if the flowers have sprung. But nothing has happened. Another day passes by, but there’s still no sign of flowers although she has tried everything. She has tried to play music so that they could listen, she has used a fan to cool them, she has visited them 10 times a day and watered them with a watering can. Surely they are being picky, she thinks, and goes to complain to her mother:
“I think they simply don’t want to spring!”
“All things take time. Do you remember when you were very young and asked me to measure you every day and tell you how much you had grown? You were very upset because it seemed you were not growing at all. Now look how much you have grown. But not all at once, but day by day, without even noticing. You’ll see that your flowers will spring, will grow and will be amazing when in bloom.”
One by one the days are passing by. Dia forgot about the flowers. She goes to the park, meets other kids and plays with them… The days go by and the summer holiday is almost over. One day, in her backyard, her classmate Nick says:
“What lovely flowers you have there, near the fence! They’re not like the other ones, they’re different. When did you plant them?”
Dia feels joy filling her heart. The–y are – as you could guess – the flowers that she planted after she came back from the seaside. She completely forgot about them. But the flowers didn’t forget to grow. They are the prettiest in the whole garden. She goes inside and calls her parents with a cheerful voice. She takes them by the hand and showes them the flowers:
“Now I understand what patience is! You must:
• Not rush! If you are in a hurry you can loose a lot!
• Learn to like waiting. When you are waiting for something, the reward is much more pleasing!
• Enjoy every moment and do other things you like – while waiting!
• Be proud you are patient. The patient man is a powerful man!”