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Monday, March 20, 2017

The Exploding Easter Eggs: A Story of Lost Potential

A Lingering Tale of Pent-up Potential

It was almost 50 years ago but the story is still fresh--or perhaps I should say 'lingering'. I've always loved to paint things, and that included the beautiful eggs laid by the ducks and geese we raised at my childhood home. 

So when I was invited to join my friend, Marilyn for her family Easter Dinner in 1969 I hard-boiled, then hand-painted in intricate detail a dozen BIG, beautiful geese eggs to gift to her family for their Easter dinner table. The family admired the eggs with the proper exclamations of appreciation before setting them on the dinner table. 

Easter Dinner with the Jenkins 1969

 But thinking the delicately painted eggs were too pretty to break open and eat, Marilyn's mother carefully stored them instead-- intending to bring them out to enjoy the following Easter--and for many years after. 

But sometime in the year--long after the eggs were put to bed and forgotten--the Jenkin's house was suddenly infiltrated with an overwhelming and rotten odor--leaving the family holding their nose in disgust. 

After searching everywhere for the source of the odor someone opened the cupboard and discovered the beautifully decorated exploded rotten eggs. 

Their previously appreciative coos of ooh and ah for the beauty of the painted eggs quickly changed to cringing cries of Ew! and Phew! in response to the nose-burning stench of rotten eggs. 

So here we are 50 years later, and the story still lingers...And I'm sure to hear from Marilyn about this post. But might we at least gleam some lesson from the lingering story? 
For me the lesson is clear: You can't preserve the past--no matter how pretty--you must break open your shell and move on. Or as C.S. Lewis wrote, 'We must be hatched or go bad.' 

The Egg~The Ultimate Symbol of Fertile Beginnings and Life Potential 
Throughout the ages, the egg has served as the ultimate symbol of fresh starts in life. Within it's shell, the egg holds the promise of emerging life--birds that fly and people who soar. But that promise remains pent-up potential until the egg is hatched. 

'We must be Hatched or Go Bad' ~ C.S. Lewis

As I was thinking about the exploding egg story I came across this C.S. Lewis quote and my mind began to intertwine the story with the quote. 

Lewis's contention is we were born to fulfill our full potential. We cannot stay an egg--even a good or beautiful egg--and learn to fly or become what we are meant to be. 

There is only one outcome for remaining in the go bad. You must come out of your shell  if you are to learn to fly.....

 'You cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg'

C.S. Lewis

'It may be hard for an egg to turn into a bird'~

'But it would be a jolly sight harder for it to learn to fly while remaining an egg.'

'We are like eggs at present.'

You may be a good egg in a beautifully crafted shell but if you are to become all that you're meant to be....

'You cannot go on indefinitely being just an ordinary, decent egg.' 

Even Good Eggs must Hatch or Go Bad

'We must be hatched or go bad.'  C. S. Lewis

Don't go bad, break free. Stop hiding behind a beautifully crafted shell. Hatch, learn to fly, and reach for the stars. 

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For more than 35 years, Susan Meyerott has been helping people lighten up and step over invisible barriers to change one step at a time. She speaks to your heart, puts you at ease, and makes letting go and moving forward with life easier than ever before.

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Jean | said...

Sue, great story AND great point! There are few things sadder than lost potential.

Susan J Meyerott, M.S. said...

Spoken like a true good egg, Jean!