Eddy is a snail. And, from a snail’s perspective, he was quite a beautiful one. He had a nice light-brown house on his back, and his grey, slimy skin was still young and youthful. Eddy was handsome, but his looks don’t matter much in this story.
Eddy lived in a small snail village next to a big street. And each time he crept out of his little house, he saw, in the far, and on the other side of the street, a large tree with juicy fruits hanging from its branches. The tree was perfect. It had everything he dreamed of. Great view, tasty leaves and fruits, and maybe he would even be able to see, at least once in his life, the sun rise and set at the horizon.
“How beautiful it must look from there,” he thought. “And how great life must be on the tree with the juicy fruits.”
Naturally, and since he had been young, his big dream was to get to the other side of the street.
His only problem was that the street was junked with traffic. Cars and trucks sped up and down the lanes, and that made it impossible for any snail to cross it.
“Why can’t I just have normal dreams,” Eddy thought, and he felt stupid to desire something that felt so out of reach, so far away, so impossible.
But despite his hopelessness, every morning, Eddy crept to the side of the street to look at the beautiful tree on the other side. At least, dreaming made him momentarily forget on which side he was.
His snail friends felt sad for Eddy. Every day, at work, he showed up with an air of disappointment written in his face. Some of his best friends wanted to be nice to him and tried to encourage him to forget about the fruit tree. They told him that there were many other things to do in life.
“Don’t get me wrong,” said Christopher, his snail-buddy, “I’d love you to discover the other side, but there are so many cars passing each day… I just don’t want you to die, and I want you to be happy Eddy. Can’t you find something to dream about which is on this side of the road?”
But for Eddy, there was nothing else to dream about, nothing else that excited him. He knew what he wanted. He wanted to be on the other side of the road. On the tree with the juicy fruits. And little did Eddy know that Christopher also wanted to get to the other side. But he was afraid to admit it. “It would sound silly,” Christopher thought.
And like Christopher, most of the snails had the same dream too. But they either ignored it or forgot about it because they had once been told that it was impossible. After all, they had to pay the snail insurance, snail taxes, and pay off the mortgage of their snail-houses.
And here was Eddy. The only one who ever voiced his dreams. And all snails found him to be silly. Eddy felt lonely. Lost. Hopeless. Nobody seemed to understand him. And yet, there was something within him that – against all the odds, believed in his dream.
So, every day, after work, he showed up underneath the guardrail to look at the other side. He watched the many cars and trucks passing, without having a clue how he would ever make it across the road. But the “how” didn’t bother Eddy, he simply fell in love with the dream itself. It just felt good to think about it. Thinking about the juicy fruits, the marvelous views, the sunsets.
Each evening, at the side of the street, he closed his eyes and imagined to be on the other side. His imagination alone filled him with joy. It made his day colorful. It made him feel strong and powerful.
One summer evening, Eddy dreamed at the street again – it felt better than ever so that he completely lost his sense of time. When he opened his eyes, he noticed that the sun had already gone too sleep and that it was dark all around him.
All snails had already gone to bed, and everything was quiet. There was a silence that Eddy was not used to. A peaceful silence, an undisturbed, meditative silence that the night brought.
Eddy was ready to creep back into his house and find his bed when he stopped and listened again. Silence.
He looked up and glanced to the other side of the street. Only the streetlights gave shape and form to the world. There were no cars, no traffic.
Eddy couldn’t believe it. Never had he seen the street to be deserted. Was that his moment?
Just to be sure, he waited a few minutes, but no car approached. There was nothing but the silence of the night.
Without being consciously aware, Eddy did what he envisioned thousands of times before in his head. His movements were automatic. He didn’t think, his body just seemed to know where to go.
And so, he crept and crept and crept. Faster than he’d ever crept before.
Before Eddy realized, he reached, with full-snail-speed, the tree on the other side.
He looked up to the heaven and asked the snail-god, “how did I deserve this?” No answer came – because there was no snail god.
But the moral of the story is this: Opportunity is like a holy door. A door that only opens for those who are willing to look. It opens for those who believe in themselves.
Eddy is my role model because he showed up consistently. Until he was in the right place, at the right time.
Eddy, you’re awesome. You show me that I don’t need to hope for an opportunity, but that I’m the creator of them. With my thoughts, intentions, and actions.
Eddy needed to know the “what” and the “why.” Opportunity knew the “how” and “when.”
Copyright 2018, Samuel Ryter (@sams-world), originally published on samryter.com