• ...The boy lowers the rose in the hole in the garden that he and his mother were tending. As he was lowering it, he jabbed his finger into one of the long thorns. The boy cried out in pain and dismay as blood welled up from his wound. The mother hurried over and began to comfort the boy. She smiled as the boy cries lowered and his tears dried. Than she said as she look over the garden of roses.

    "You know, son, life is kind of like planting a rose. They are so beautiful to look upon, and have such a sweet fragrance but they also have dreadfully painful thrones. But if we are careful, and endure the small pains of the thorns, than in the end, we can look upon a beautiful garden full of sweet roses once the planting is done"

    Thats right....life has its little pains, its little thorns. But if we endure the small pains and the bigger ones as well, than maybe in the end ours can be as beautiful to look upon as the rose...

    ...A young squire was training with a master knight in the court yard of a great kingdom. The squire, swung his sword left and right, but the knight blocked every one of his blows.

    "Why do you wish to become a knight?" Asked the knight

    "Why should I need a reason?" The young squire asked as he pressed his attack

    Just at that moment the knight parried the squire's blow and sent it and the young squire falling to the ground.

    "Because" said the Master Knight as the stood above the boy " life is like your sword there. Alone it can do nothing and without a reason or will behind it is and will be nothing. But by taking it up in your hand, by having a reason for weilding it only than does your life become meaningfull."

    Yes, thats right, life is like a blade. For with out a will or reason of its own, the blade just becomes a chuck of metal once more...

    ..."and one and two. And one and two" The dance instructor smiled encouragingly to the young man as he stumbled over the steps of the dance. As she progressed to quicker steps the young man tried helplessly to keep up. Finally, he tripped and took himself and his instructor to the floor.

    The instructor pushed herself up off him and smiled down at him. The young man blushed and looked down away from her smile "I'm sorry. I'm nothing but a graceless ox"

    The instructor smiled down at him and put a hand to his cheek "You know life is like a dance. You will not be prefect the first time, maybe not the second, maybe not even after a hundred tries. But if you pick yourself up and keep trying, than one day, you'll have mastered it"

    Thats right. Life is like the dance. One cannot be expected to be prefect the first time around. The important thing is to remember to stand up when you've fallen and try again, until, the dance is mastered....

    ..."ohhhhh ahhhhh!!! dang it!!!" the boy cried as the fish jumped up into the air and spit the hook of the fishing pole back at the boy. The boy's grandfather, sitting next to him, let out a booming life as the boy fell on his bum. Scowlling furiously, the boy threw down his hookless rod.

    The grandfather smiled, picked up the rod and handed it back. The boy refuse to take it "I won't catch anything!!" He screamed.

    The grandfather smiled and said "Life is like fishing. We'll not always catch a big one, in fact we may never even catch a minnow. But the joy is not always about catching the fish, but the enjoyment of trying."

    Thats right. Life is like fishing. We won't always get to do something important, or we won't always achieve our dreams. But if we simply enjoy the task of trying, than in the end, ones life can be quite enjoyable....

    ...I stood there in the living room of the my sister's home, holding my newborn nephew in my arms. My sister sat beside me smiling at her child sleeping in my arms.

    "I'm scared..." I said as I look down at the boy.

    My sister looked at me with a puzzled look "Why?" she asked

    "What if I'm not a good uncle. This boy is so pericous. I don't want to let him down.

    My sister smiled, looked down at the child and said " You know, life is like this boy here. he doesn't know whats right and wrong, he doesn't judge us, or tell us that we're wrong. He leaves that decision to ourselves. Only we can decide wheither what we do, is just and right"

    Thats right. Life is like an innocent child. While it brings experience and knowledge, it itself doesn't decide whats right and wrong, whats fair and just. Only we ourselves are trusted with the power of judging weither our lives are good and right...

    I place the piece of the puzzle in its place, completely the picture. As I lean over look down at the completed portrait, a thought comes to me. Life is like a puzzle. Not one piece makes it up, not one image, metaphor, or simile can ever encompass the entirety of it all. But only by fitting all the pieces together, does life and all its meanings come to full fruition, and the portrait become complete.

    This day, I've given you some of the pieces, now I leave it up to you to find the rest and complete your own portraits.