On Sunday morning, we took delivery of a cord of wood at the farm. In suburban New Jersey, a quarter cord takes us through the winter quite nicely; there is just enough in a quarter cord to stack on the porch for that Fall into Winter look, and for the kinds of fires we have at our house – few and far between, and mostly over the holidays. But, when I called around for such a delivery in upstate New York, I was met with, “We don’t do that up here, ma’am.” So, a cord of wood it was. The delivery took all of five minutes, and when the truck backed out of the driveway, this is what we saw…
At first, I was uncertain about how to begin. Each piece of wood seemed to measure the same length, but no two pieces were shaped alike…how to fit them all together? How to organize all of this?
But, bit by bit, we did:
It took time, it took patience, it took more than a bit of finagling; but slowly it all came together and worked. At the end, it wasn’t perfect, but it all seemed to fit together.
For those of you who read my blog, you have probably already guessed at where my mind began to turn through this experience: teaching. Yes, teaching. For this is what it’s like as the year starts. The children come in, they range in ways easy to discern and not, and somehow we work together to finagle a great year of learning. Bit by bit. It’s not perfect by any means, and there is much shifting and jockeying and adjusting (there are even moments when the whole thing seems on the verge of collapse), but we make it.
So, here’s to the end of September and the first weeks of school. We’ve found a way to come together as a group of learners – my children range a wide spectrum of needs and skills and inclinations. But, we fit together. We have found a way to do so…and it feels rather wonderful.