The short days and cold temperatures of a Maine winter leave lots of time for indoor activities that we don’t usually pursue during the busier seasons. More time for catching up with books we have wanted to read, playing games and often at our house there is also a jigsaw puzzle on the go.
It takes up space on a not often used desk or counter top and may sit there for weeks as we try to fit it together. Everyone in the family takes turns with it, sometimes pouring over it for hours at other times just putting in one or two pieces that caught our eye. We may all work on it together or take solitary time to figure a part out. These days we are up to 500 – 1000 pieces of fairly complex pictures, not too challenging for the little ones and engaging enough for the grown-ups. The puzzle may get left for days at a time with no solution seeming possible or too many pieces of the same color being too confusing and yet with time and perhaps a different set of eyes someone finds a piece that starts a fresh interest and more of the solution appears.
We know and trust that there is a solution and despite the fact that it sometimes seems impossible every piece has a place and will fit in perfectly. We never quit or put it away until it is complete because we believe that we can do it someday. It doesn’t matter who does the most work or who can fathom a particularly intricate part and we rarely remember who had the pleasure of fitting the last piece.
The end product is really irrelevant, it is the journey that we take to get there, the quiet work we do together or alone, the challenges and frustrations that we must overcome to find what we need and the ultimate satisfaction in a job well done.
As the days get longer the puzzles are forgotten and gather dust in the back of the closet yet the lessons they taught us and the time we enjoyed together resolving them become a cherished part of our memories.