This little story is dedicated to my niece Ana.
The walrus figurine sat in the little China shop in the window. It wasn’t exactly beautiful, but it wasn’t ugly. Ana fell in love with it the moment she saw it.
“Grandma I want the walrus.” It wasn’t a practical gift, not for a five year old. Yet Alyssa reminded herself, parents have to be practical, grandparents get to be heroes.
They left the store with a very carefully wrapped porcelain walrus on white snow. It was placed on a shelf in Ana’s room, where she could see it, but just out of reach. “Grandma I want to hold it. It’s a dream.”
Her daughter was thinking, “You’ve done it now Mother.” Yet Alyssa’s mind seized on the word dream. She took her granddaughter in her arms.
“You know dear, you want to keep your dreams insight, but just out of reach. It keeps you reaching for tomorrow, and not just holding on to yesterday. So every time you achieve something, imagine a new goal that’s a little too high, and grow up to it. One day you’ll be as tall as the shelf, and you’ll reach for the walrus, hold it, and move it higher, to a new shelf.”
Ana did just that, not only with the porcelain walrus, but her dreams as well. When they said it’s hard to make a living as an artist, she became an art teacher. When she sold a paint for three thousand dollars, Ana became a full time artist.
When they told her it was difficult for an artist to be both a successful painter, and a gallery owner, she opened Shelf Gallery. Within three years, she was forced to move to a bigger space to keep up with demand. As she moved into the new building, she had her assistant hang her shelf, and she used a ladder to place the walrus on it.
“Ma’am I think that shelf is a little too high up, don’t you?” She smiled. “Absolutely, but don’t move it, dreams should always be just out of reach, so you can grow into them.” Then she hugged her Grandmother in her mind.