Sister Mary Annunciata handed out the list of things we had to bring to school by the end of the week. It was September 15, 1953. It was the first week of 1st grade. Although I had attended kindergarten at the same school, I was scared. The thought of filling a list of things to bring to school was intimidating. I wanted to make sure I got it right.
After school my mother sent me out with my older sister to get the supplies on the list:
a) a notebook
b) 2 – #2 pencils
c) a pencil sharpener
d) a pencil box
e) an eraser
f) a ruler
I was excited as I picked out each item. The pencil box was made of smooth pale wood with a flat surface that slid the box open when you pushed on the notch. Everything fit inside of it perfectly. The next day I was ready with all of my items. The students who brought all of the items to class received a gold star next to their name. I was proud. I smiled all the way back to my seat. You see, we got to put the gold star next to our own names.
During the first week we received our catechism book, prayer book, rosary beads and a laminated bookmark with an image of a saint on the front and a prayer on the back. We were supposed to mark where we were in our catechism book with it. We were to recite the pray to the saint on the back of the bookmark whenever we found ourselves in a moment of weakness or loss of faith. I often did as I always found myself in a state of fear of not meeting up to getting that gold star again.
Sister Mary Annunciata was angelic in her features. She was petite and had a pretty smile. A stiff white material surrounded her face showcasing her pink skin and white teeth. The black habit covered her all the way down to her ankles. Tiny black leather tips from her shoes stuck out. Long rosary beads hung from her waist and jingled as she walked. All of this meant nothing, since her harsh tone could let you know, instantly, if you were not in her favor.
The second week of school we were going to learn how to write the letters of the alphabet. Eventually, we would be learning to how write our names. I was thrilled. I wanted to learn how to write so much.
First there were rules we needed to know:
1) No pointing our pencil at anyone
2) We could not sharpen our pencils unless we raised our hand and asked
3) No erasing what we had written
4) No writing on our desks
Finally, after waiting and waiting, we were going to write. I took out my #2 yellow pencil and held it in my hand. It fit perfectly. Now, I was going to be a writer. My journey was about to begin.
No other instrument has had as much influence on my life as that pencil did. There was something powerful in that first encounter. When I read the short inspirational parable below I felt all of the same feelings I felt when I first held that # 2 yellow pencil.
I hope you can remember your feelings when you first became enamored with the art of writing.
What were they????
2017©Isadora De La Vega
Pencil Parable – an Inspirational story
The Pencil Maker took the pencil aside, just before putting him into the box.
“There are 5 things you need to know,” he told the pencil, “Before I send you out into the world. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best pencil you can be.”
1) “You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in someone’s hand.”
2) “You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, but you’ll need it to become a better pencil.”
3) “You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.”
4) “The most important part of you will always be what’s inside.”
5) “On every surface you are used on, you must leave your mark. No matter what the condition, you must continue to write.”
The pencil understood and promised to remember, and went into the box with purpose in its heart.
Now replacing the place of the pencil with yourself. Always remember them and never forget, and you will become the best person you can be.
1) You will be able to do many great things, but only if you allow yourself to be held in God’s hand. And allow other human beings to access you for the many gifts you possess.
2) You will experience a painful sharpening from time to time, by going through various problems in life, but you’ll need it to become a stronger person.
3) You will be able to correct any mistakes you might make.
4) The most important part of you will always be what’s on the inside.
5) On every surface you walk through, you must leave your mark. No matter what the situation, you must continue to do your duties.
Allow this parable of the pencil to encourage you to know that you are a special person and only you can fulfill the purpose to which you were born to accomplish.
Never allow yourself to get discouraged and think that your life is insignificant and cannot make a change.
I honor the place in you
in which the entire universe dwells.
I honor the place in you
which is of Love, and of Truth,
of Light and of Peace.
When you are in that place in you
and I am in that place in me.
We are One.
I’ve been having some computer issues but it looks like I’ve had a bit of writers block too. Rereading this post brought back my first writing memories. Although I’ve posted this one before, I thought it might help someone else who may be having a difficult time getting back in the saddle of writing.
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