• Vol. 06
  • Chapter 03
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What’s it for?

'But what's it for?' asked the small boy, looking up at his mother.

'It isn't for anything,' she replied. 'It's a nettle and if you touch it, it'll sting you.'

The boy rubbed his arm vigorously where the white lumps were already swollen and itchy.

'Yes, but what's it for?'

'Things don't have to be for anything,' she explained. 'A pen is for writing, and a bike is for riding, but other things just are. A nettle is just a nettle, just as a little boy is just a little boy.'

And every morning for the rest of his life he held onto his mother's words. Even on days he couldn't see a way forward, he tried to remember that he didn't have to be for anything. It was enough to just be.