A Story of Inclusion
Dedicated to Children with Disabilities
Juvi had never been in a greenhouse before and was impressed with all of the rows and rows of plants that were there. He was overwhelmed by the height of many of the plants and really enjoyed the orchids and flowers.
Many of the plants seemed to stand a little taller when Juvi came by and the colors of the flowers seemed to beam just a little brighter as Juvi greeted them.
Over in the corner of the greenhouse there were some odd plants that caught Juvi’s eye. The sign identified them as Bonsai trees and all of them seemed just a little strange to Juvi.
As he walked down the rows of trees they all seemed so…small. They were beautiful and all of them seemed to tell a story but they were all just so small. In a greenhouse that seemed to be full of life, these plants seemed oddly out of place.
Juvi decided to strike up a conversation with one of the bonsai trees.
“Do you have a name?” asked Juvi.
“Yes, they call me Kadirika. Do you think I’m pretty?” she asked as she stood up as tall as she could.
“Yes, you are pretty in an odd sort of way…but you seem so… small? Are you all right?” asked Juvi.
“Yes, I’m fine. As a matter of fact, I have found ways to make myself as beautiful as any other plant in this greenhouse. I get more attention than anyone else around here. You see, they hold my arms in place with these wires and they keep me nestled in this tight but beautiful pot, far more attractive than any other pot around here. A lot of people come by and they really enjoy looking at me.”
“Are you happy here Kadirika?” asked Juvi.
“Yes I am, very happy to tell you the truth. It never gets too hot here nor too cold. I never have too much water nor not enough. I always get just enough sunlight during the day, so I must admit that this is a perfect place to be.”
“Have you ever looked beyond the glass? Have you ever wondered what it’s like outside?” asked Juvi.
“Outside there are people just like you who have never been here. They grow…differently than you do. They stand tall, very tall…as tall as they want to be. They often learn how to cope in some difficult situations.”
“Sounds scary to me.” she said.
“I’ve noticed that you are for sale. Would you like to go home with me?” asked Juvi
“Yes, but only if you have a special place for me where I’ll be happy. A place where I can continue on my journey as I grow.” She said nervously.
“I have just the place for you” said Juvi.
“Is it on the windowsill in your bedroom?”
“Will I be in your living room?”
“No, I think I’m going to take off the wires from your arms and place you in the meadow. If you don’t like it there, you can always come back inside, but let’s just give it a try.” Said Juvi.
Juvi placed her in the middle of the meadow, surrounded by wildflowers where she could get plenty of warm May Sun. Once Kadirina was in her new home, the first thing she had to get used to was the fact that her toes were now able to wiggle freely in the fresh cool soil. She kept waiting to bump into the edges of her pot but that never happened…she was free!
Her arms that had been held in place by wires were now able to reach towards the sky and her fingers were now free to grasp the sunlight as it made its way to her.
As spring turned into summer, she watched as she stretched out before her very eyes. She wasn’t as big as the other trees but that was ok with her…she was having too much fun finding her own way.
Life in the meadow wasn’t always easy.
But in the sun she found strength
In the rain she was washed
And at night she rested with the stars as her nightlights.
As the summer began to fade into fall, she learned that there were colors within just waiting to come out.
As the winter wrapped a blanket around her, she learned that her dreams of growth never died, they were just waiting to be reborn.
That spring, Juvi came back and spoke with Kadirina, now able to admire her new growth.
“How have you enjoyed your new home?” asked Duvi.
Kadirina thought on that for a long time.
“I enjoyed my time in the greenhouse because that was all I ever knew. Now everything is different. I am on a journey, always amazed at the growth that can be found in the sun, rain and seasons that come.”
“I know that you have come to ask me if I want to come inside with you. No, I’m home now.”
And with that, Kadirina smiled.