January 20, 2011

A Lesson from a Carrot, an Egg, and a Cup of Coffee

     I was in search of some quotes last night and remembered Hey! I follow The Twice Remembered Cottage! A beautiful blog full of inspiration, motivation, and...quotes! I was having fun reading through posts when one in particular caught my eye. 
     Now, I have to explain something. I feel like this year is a time of change and metamorphosis for me for some reason, and I have been antsy, almost tortured, by the fact that I don't let my creativity out to play enough. I know I have a whole galaxy of creative... oomph inside me, and I could be doing more, but fear (among other things) stops me. I like to think I'm strong, but sometimes (and I know we all do this at some point) I just want to throw up my hands, throw in the towel, and give up. I'm not quite there yet, but I've been there many times. Right now, I am just...I don't know. I think the universe is working around me and I just don't know where it's taking me right now. I feel fragile right now and in need of some motivation and inspiration to propel my creation. 
     That's where this post from The Twice Remembered Cottage comes in. I truly believe the universe puts things in front of me when I need it, and this is one of those things. This story is so simple, but it's essence is wonderful. Well here, let it speak for itself.

Carrot, Egg, and Coffee

A carrot, an egg, and a cup of coffee...You will never look at a 
cup of coffee the same way again.
     A young woman went to her mother and told her about her life and how things were so hard for her. She did not know how she was going to make it and wanted to give up. She was tired of fighting and struggling. It seemed as one problem was solved, a new one arose.
     Her mother took her to the kitchen. She filled three pots with water and placed each on a high fire. Soon the pots came to boil. In the first she placed carrots, in the second she placed eggs, and in the last she placed ground coffee beans. She let them sit and boil, without saying a word.
     In about twenty minutes she turned off the burners. She fished the carrots out and placed them in a bowl. She pulled the eggs out and placed them in a bowl. Then she ladled the coffee out and placed it in a bowl.

    Turning to her daughter, she asks, "Tell me what you see."
    "Carrots, eggs, and coffee," she replied.
     Her mother brought her closer and asked her to feel the carrots. She did and noted that they were soft. The mother then asked the daughter to take an egg and break it. After pulling off the shell, she observed the hard boiled egg.
Finally, the mother asked the daughter to sip the coffee. The daughter smiled as she tasted its rich aroma. The daughter then asked, "What does it mean, mother?"
     Her mother explained that each of these objects had faced the same adversity: boiling water. Each reacted differently. The carrot went in strong, hard, and unrelenting. However, after being subjected to the boiling water, it softened and became weak. The egg had been fragile. Its thin outer shell had protected its liquid interior, but after sitting through the boiling water, its inside became hardened. The ground coffee beans were unique, however. After they were in the boiling water, they had changed the water.
     "Which are you?" she asked her daughter. "When adversity knocks on your door, how do you respond? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?"
     Think of this: Which am I? Am I the carrot that seems strong, but with pain and adversity do I wilt and become soft and lose my strength?
     Am I the egg that starts with a malleable heart, but changes with the heat? Did I have a fluid spirit, but after a death, a break-up, a financial hardship or some other trial, have I become hardened and stiff? Does my shell look the same, but on the inside am I bitter and tough with a stiff spirit and hardened heart?
     Or am I like the coffee bean? The bean actually changes the hot water, the very circumstance that brings the pain. When the water gets hot, it releases the fragrance and flavour. If you are like the bean, when things are at their worst, you get better and change the situation around you. When the hour is the darkest and trials are their greatest, do you elevate yourself to another level? How do you handle adversity? Are you a carrot, an egg or a coffee bean?
     May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong, enough sorrow to keep you human and enough hope to make you happy.
     The happiest of people don't necessarily have the best of everything; they just make the most of everything that comes along their way. The brightest future will always be based on a forgotten past; you can't go forward in life until you let go of your past failures and heartaches.
     When you were born, you were crying and everyone around you was smiling. Live your life so at the end, you're the one who is smiling and everyone around you is crying.

     Isn't that beautiful? There are so many things in there that I need to be reminded of and retaught daily. I have been, and probably continue to be, all three from time to time. What this little story was put in my path to tell me was that I should strive to be the coffee. Thank goodness I will never see these three objects in the same way again. From my heart, I repeat these beautiful words: May you have enough happiness to make you sweet, enough trials to make you strong,enough sorrow to keep you human, and enough hope to make you happy. And, may we all be coffee.


  1. Great post, Melissa!!!! We all do the best we can and keep going. Luv ya!

  2. I believe that our Lord is unchanging, that he was and is and will always be a Creator, and that he is able to take the things we call adversity and create something of genuine beauty from them. The story you shared put me in mind of that, and I thank you for reminding me that this is true.


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