True Nature

red-rose-lr

John Blanchard stood up from the bench, straightened his Army
uniform, and studied the crowd of people making their way through
Grand Central Station. He looked for the girl whose heart he knew,
but whose face he didn't, the girl with the rose. His interest in her had
begun thirteen months before in a Florida library.

Taking a book off the shelf he found himself intrigued, not with the
words of the book, but with the notes penciled in the margin. The soft
handwriting reflected a thoughtful soul and insightful mind. In the front
of the book, he discovered the previous owner's name, Miss Hollis
Maynell.

With time and effort he located her address. She lived in New York
City. He wrote her a letter introducing him and inviting her to
correspond. The next day he was shipped overseas for service in
World War II.

During the next year and one month the two grew to know each other
through the mail. Each letter was a seed falling on a fertile heart. A
romance was budding. Blanchard requested a photograph, but she
refused. She felt that if he really cared, it wouldn't matter what she
looked like. When the day finally came for him to return from Europe,
they scheduled their first meeting – 7:00 PM at the Grand Central
Station in New York.

“You'll recognize me,” she wrote, “by the red rose I'll be wearing on
my lapel.” So at 7:00 he was in the station looking for a girl whose
heart he loved, but whose face he'd never seen.

I'll let Mr. Blanchard tell you what happened:

A young woman was coming toward me, her figure long and slim. Her
blonde hair lay back in curls from her delicate ears; her eyes were
blue as flowers. Her lips and chin had a gentle firmness, and in her
pale green suit she was like springtime come alive. I started toward
her, entirely forgetting to notice that she was not wearing a rose.
As I moved, a small, provocative smile curved her lips. “Going my
way, sailor?” she murmured. Almost uncontrollably I made one step
closer to her, and then I saw Hollis Maynell. She was standing almost
directly behind the girl. A woman well past 40, she had greying hair
tucked under a worn hat. She was more than plump, her thick-ankle
feet thrust into low-heeled shoes. The girl in the green suit was
walking quickly away.

I felt as though I was split in two, so keen was my desire to follow her,
and yet so deep was my longing for the woman whose spirit had truly
companioned me and upheld my own. And there she stood. Her pale,
plump face was gentle and sensible; her grey eyes had a warm and
kindly twinkle. I did not hesitate. My fingers gripped the small worn
blue leather copy of the book that was to identify me to her.

This would not be love, but it would be something precious,
something perhaps even better than love, a friendship for which I had
been and must ever be grateful. I squared my shoulders and saluted
and held out the book to the woman, even though while I spoke I felt
choked by the bitterness of my disappointment.

“I'm Lieutenant John Blanchard, and you must be Miss Maynell. I am
so glad you could meet me; may I take you to dinner?”

The woman's face broadened into a tolerant smile. “I don't know what
this is about, son,” she answered, “but the young lady in the green
suit who just went by, she begged me to wear this rose on my coat.
And she said if you were to ask me out to dinner, I should go and tell
you that she is waiting for you in the big restaurant across the street.
She said it was some kind of test!”

It's not difficult to understand and admire Miss Maynell's wisdom. The
true nature of a heart is seen in its response to the unattractive.

So, don't judge, even if it doesn't seem good or attractive at the first instance.
Sometimes, things or events may not seem so favourable or good at first.
Yet after some time, it may reveal or present better opportunities and
greater possibilities for you, to grow and live your best life.

Things happen for a reason, and you can connect the dots when you look back.
Open your heart and embrace the unseen possibilities.

Leave a Reply

One response to “True Nature”

  1. SILMY says:

    WHAT A HEARTWARMING STORY, and HOW TRUE-HEARTED of JOHN!

Speak Your Mind

*