"The difference between the impossible and the possible lies in a person's determination." Tommy Lasorda
Today, in honor of Fat Tuesday and that tomorrow will be Ash Wednesday, I am pulling inspiration for this post from my Catholic background. Saints play an enormous role in the Catholic faith and this weekend, I happened upon a movie, The Rookie (2002) starring Dennis Quaid, that featured Saint Rita. Known as the Patron Saint of Impossible Dreams, the movie referenced St. Rita twice. The movie begins with the story of a man perhaps a century ago believing that oil could be found in the desert landscape of one small town in Texas. His only financial backers were a pair of nuns who believed that they may have squandered their investment. Instructed by their bishop's advice, these nuns set out to the oil man's site where they scattered rose petals and prayed to St. Rita. The nuns' investment in their faith and the man paid off. The movie then moves onto its main story, that of Jim Morris. It tells the true story of a man who thought his chances of pitching in the Major League were dashed by injury, but finds a second, unlikely chance to fulfill his dream in mid-life.
Inspired by this story of the impossible. I happened upon another example. As I was cruising other blogs, trying to make connections and checking out how other people go about this business of blogging, I found a link to J. K. Rowling's speech she gave at Harvard's commencement nearly three years ago. Rowling spoke to this class of achievers about the unexpected topic of failure. In particular, her failure when she had hit, as she describes, rock bottom. At that point in her life, not many people would have predicted her eventual success. She explains how she had seen her greatest fears realized and survived; how she had her daughter, an old typewriter and an amazing idea. The odds were against her, yet she went on to achieve the nearly impossible. (This video is easy to find on You Tube and worth checking out for a moment of inspiration.)
I take heart in these stories of the impossible, especially as I note that this blog is one of over 126 million (according to Blog Pulse) and that my novel is currently ranked #139,541 on Amazon's best seller list. Besides, success to me does not need to be on such a grand scale as the Major League or that of Rowling's.
Back to those nuns in the movie scattering rose petals across the Texas dessert: I learned that St. Rita of Cascia lived a full life, including a troubled marriage, being a mother to twin (!) boys and eventually entering a convent where she worked to bring peace to her war-torn homeland. In the last years of her life, she was bedridden and asked of only one item. She requested a rose from her family's estate. But, as it was January at the time of her request, the task had seemed impossible. A resident of St. Rita's hometown returned to the estate, nonetheless, and made a remarkable discovery. You guessed it, there on the stark, leafless bush, grew a single rose.
May all your impossible dreams come true!