Tuesday, January 02, 2007

As you can tell, if you are still checking after the long silence, the new year has brought a return to blogging. You may consider it a resolution, if you wish. Some time off after Christmas has given me a chance to catch my breath and get back to a few things that fell by the wayside this Fall. 2006 was a year that was perhaps a little too full of, shall we say, "interesting challenges" for the family. Coming out the other side of a few of them, it is strange to find, in an odd an unexpected way, it was all blessing.

Last Saturday I was down at the barnyard drilling a hole with too small a drill with too small a bit into too large a post, making a hole for a pin to anchor the hinge on a farm gate. We replaced the old rusted out gate this summer but tried to fit the new gate on the old hardware. Like new wine in old skins, the pieces never meshed properly, but I didn't have the time, patience or tools to fix it. The result was that, by December, we did not have a gate so much as an unwieldy piece of metal waiting to be knocked down by persistent sheep whenever they wished to go walkabout in the upper field. I discovered Saturday that even with inadequate tools, the job could be done when approached with a little grace and a little patience. That, oddly enough is the lesson learned throughout much of the rest of the year. After more than a half century of working at this business of living I have begun to realize that if I wait for the perfect tool, the perfect circumstances, or for myself to finally become that perfect person, I will wait past most of the best opportunities for living. As G. K. Chesterton once put it, "Anything worth doing is worth doing badly." Chesterton of all people was not interested in encouraging bad work. He knew though that the worst work is that which is not done at all and any work, done with heart, soul and prayer has the potential to be good work. This coming year I intend to hang a few more gates.