The Achievement

Alice Comerford

Somewhere deep inside I felt those tiny dagger-like stabs that always come when I witness the first awkward thrusts of effort my little daughter gives to a brand new learning problem. Something is stirred in the special place where my love for her resides. The moment holds a strange excitement which stems from the common source of hope and pride which parents possess for their children. It doesn't take a whole lot of living to realize that the story of life is told a myriad times a day in as many ways when a child increases its growing consciousness of the worlds in which it finds itself.

The little fingers stumbled and awkwardly persisted at the task with a quality of patience I had lost long ago. No matter how often the effort failed, it was never abandoned. As I watched, withholding interference with all I had, I made a silent play on that famous line — Patience, thy name is Child! However, to be truthful, I had to amend it with sometimes, for there are other kinds of moments when she seems to balk at the entire challenge of life!

Finally my confused impression of this experience began to concrete, and what could be called the moral of the story emerged. My child, at this new moment, travels in the moving stream of creativity. Something unknown to her still narrow world of understanding, an inner strength from some source of natural trust, perhaps some kind of god, is working in her hands. As she tries and fails and repeatedly picks up the task, each time nearer the goal, I am astonished at the relentless energy of will and purpose that propels those little fingers. I think I am seeing manifest the spirit of all success. . . .

Suddenly the bright red button slipped through the buttonhole, and worlds fell into place! The little face was so radiant with the triumph that I thought the sun had found a new escape.

Well, it was done, simple as it was . . . about as simple as God!

(From Sunrise magazine, March 1954; copyright © 1954 Theosophical University Press)

Theosophical University Press Online Edition