I think of putting a puzzle together – how the first pieces tend to be the border, the framed outer edging. Once the top, bottom, and sides are built, then begins the inner filling. Perhaps there is a certain color that is selected first, a color that stands out from the rest. Or an image in the picture so unique, that starting place works best. If there is abundant green grass or blue sky, those sections tend to wait. Preference is to focus on what can be linked together more easily to fill up the inner space.
Link by link, piece by piece, patches begin to form sub pictures of the whole. We start to put laser focus on the missing puzzle pieces that can help the patch grow. Our vision narrows to what is more immediately in our view. We don’t see the empty spaces that await their linkage too. We become more present to what is directly in our line of sight. We slow down, trying a piece on for size. We may turn it all four ways and try to press it into the space we hold. We then find it fits perfectly or it isn’t where that piece goes. Maybe we revisit that piece in another patch of scenery. Or we find it isn’t yet time for that piece to join our imagery. We will encounter that piece again in the future though when we do not know. For now, we set it aside and we let that piece go.
Maybe inside this picture we start to form a bridge from one sub picture to the next. A single thread of links snapped together, loops and indents together pressed. Slowly, steadily, and sometimes rapidly too. The picture expands as the story of our life takes shape and further comes into view.
Are there moments in building the puzzle when it is time to work on another sub picture, to build a new patch inside the bordered square? Should there be times when you look up and ponder, hmmmm, I wonder what it looks like over there? Not worried about the unfolding of the rest of the picture is not a bad thing. Yet, are there times that we miss an opportunity to look at the picture unfolding differently? What if we added some pieces to the sky that awaits a cloud or two to float across the scene? Or what if we added some of the green grass or started the trunk of that tree? Do we risk missing an opportunity if we are focused so narrowly? Would we think the picture looks different if more patches we could see?
This lone strip of snow greeted me, patches of ice the sun had not yet melted away. I couldn’t help thinking of how it was like a puzzle with a message to convey. I could look at the patch of snow or I could look at the trail now greeting the thaw of Spring. I could focus on the patches of ice still holding fallen leaves from blowing away. Or I could focus on finding the green weeds and grass that would soon take the leaves place. I could look for where the ice was broken, holes now in the middle of what was once complete. Or I could see that it was time for the ice to melt away and let the cinder trail and sunlight meet. And then of course there is the aspect that if I stayed with the ice I would miss other views that I could not yet see ahead of me. Like the river flowing or the sun cascading through the trees. Like the puzzle pieces that make up the picture of our lives, are there times we are focused so on the ice we miss what else awaits? Do we have moments we may think the border is closer, when, in reality, there is so much more space? Maybe that is an opportunity as well to not build the entire border initially. Perhaps we can allow for expansion by not boxing in all four sides immediately.
We can let go to let come and keep a focus on the spaces available to fill with pieces we have not yet found. We can also balance that with staying focused on the here and now. We can also balance sitting with determination to complete the puzzle and not rushing the journey. For once we have filled in all the puzzle, the picture of our life is complete. Determination was my focus as Ginger and I ran the trail, joined via leash for a time. My not relishing her pauses and stops was part of her find. And then that inner whisper gently reminded me. What might I be missing in what I could see? Do we ever stand back and admire the puzzle sub pictures just as they are currently? Or is our focus that it is incomplete?
What if every time we walked by the table where the puzzle lay we first saw it as complete before we saw its opportunities to be added to? What if we walked around the table and looked at the puzzle from a different view? Perhaps we would see the empty spaces are as beautiful as the pieces we can see. Both the puzzle pieces we’ve put into place and the ones yet to link. The people we know and the ones we have yet to meet.