I heard this story several weeks ago at a wine tasting event here, where I live in the Okanagan Valley in Western Canada. A young lady from Spierling Wineries in the valley was leading us through her wines, and then she told us a story about her great, great Grandmother.
Her great,great Grandfather arrived in this valley from Italy in the 1890’s and was convinced by the missionaries that he should start a farm in this valley. He agreed, and sent for his wife.
His wife who lived in Italy, had no idea where this place was in Canada, but she boarded a steam ship that was going to San Francisco, with hopes of finding her husband in this place called Okanagan. She paid her passage by cooking for a group of Italian Missionaries on board.
In 1890, there was no Panama Canal, the steam ship went around Cape Horn of South America and up to San Francisco. A long and arduous journey.
They arrived in San Francisco, and all this woman knew was to ask for a place called the Okanagan. She spoke little English. One of the Italian missionaries turned to her, and told her, “You see that Mission Bell that is just being loaded onto the dock. That bell is going to place you are going, and so are these missionaries.”
So this little Italian woman, made another journey, from San Francisco, following that bell, to the port of Vancouver Canada. That was over 900 miles overland, and then on horse back from Vancouver some 300 miles inland to meet her husband.
She raised eight children in this valley, and her sons and daughters became farmers and business people here in this valley. And her Great Great Granddaughter was there that night to showcase their award-winning wines.
What did I see from this story? I saw that we can have all kinds of faith in ourselves, our god, or our goals, but it is the determination that will see it through.
That little lady showed that she had the faith to get on the boat, but also the determination to see her journey through to the end. Now, about the bell being on the same boat she was on? Well, I’ll let you draw your own conclusions.
As a writer, I love stories like this. I hear so many people talk about faith, whether it be in religion or in themselves, but when you hear stories about someone who persevered, that’s when the story really matters to me.
That lady followed a bell, that led her to her husband. We each follow something in our lives that leads us to our destiny, fulfillment or just to the end of the day.
I don’t care if you don’t believe me, but really, some people follow reality TV shows, some sports, but they do follow something. It is wonderful, when I hear a story of someone who followed their heart.
If you have any stories like this one, like this little lady who followed the bell, I would love to read them, you could post them here. Meanwhile, I’ll look for other stories of determination, and when I find them, then you’ll find them right here.