Anne sat on her porch, drawing the sky. She was an aspiring artist that had a fascination for nature and most importantly, the sky. She often sat on the porch alone, creating from the inspiration from above. There was nothing more enjoyable to her than drawing. However, her love for it was not admired by the ones she loved. Her mother wanted her to focus on her chores and homework, so Anne would rush and get them done so she could get to her porch. Her father wanted her to be a musician like him, so she took lessons every week to please him. No one saw her as an artist. They liked her drawings but didn’t see a future in it. Despite her lack of support, Anne knew in her heart, no matter the odds, that she was going to be an artist.
A neighbor was walking by one day and saw Anne as she looked up at the sky. The old man was amused by her awe. He had not looked up at the sky like that in a long time, nor seen anyone marvel it the way she did. He remembered that he used to count the stars while lying in the grass as a child. He would dream of traveling the world. His dream actually became his reality as he traveled across the world, meeting wonderful people along the way. He looked at Anne and knew she was different; her joy made him want to dream again. He walked up to her determined to find out more about this girl.
He asked, “What do you see?”
She was startled; no one usually speaks to her when she is drawing. She looked at the old man.
“I see… I see Love. I see beauty. Everyday I sit here, trying to capture the beauty but it escapes me,” she responded.
“May I take a look?” the old man asked, as he noticed her notebook.
She gave him the pad and as he opened it, his eyes widened. He was blown away by her talent. In all of his traveling, he had never seen such beautiful art.
“This is amazing.”
Anne was surprised; she wasn’t used to getting a reaction from anyone.
“Thank you, I am trying to become an artist but I don’t know if I can,” Anne said.
“What do you mean?” the old man replied.
“My parents want me to be someone else. They don’t understand how much I love drawing and they don’t see it in my future,” said Anne.
The old man stopped her, “Young lady, you can’t be anything other than who you are; and you are definitely an artist. You are the greatest artist I have ever seen. Regardless of what others say, you still draw. I can tell, you can’t escape it and I believe in you.”
The words cause tears to fill Anne’s eyes. He noticed her and she felt loved; the feeling was wonderful. The old man was emotional too as his heart was moved by her gift. He pulled out his checkbook, signed a check and handed it to Anne, “This is for you.” He continued, “Promise me one thing; that you will never stop using your gift. Carry this wherever you go; if you ever need it, you can cash it for whatever amount.” The old man remembered a time when he was her age, “Many years ago, I was given a similar check when a gentleman saw my gift of writing. He instructed me to do the same thing and I have traveled the world ever since. I have been writing in many beautiful cities and I still have the check he gave to me; I have not needed it yet.” He said, pulling out the check to show her. “Young lady, the world is yours, now go and discover it.” He turned and walked away, smiling and admiring the sky all the way home.
Anne held the check and a burst of confidence filled her. She put the check in her pocket and decided at that moment, that she was an artist; and the world, her canvas.