Arranging the pieces

He was arranging the pieces into words, but he could never quite manage to make the word he wanted

            The Snow Queen, by Hans Christian Andersen

We put a puzzle together last week. Not so many pieces, but at last she was ready. She’d never been patient enough for puzzles before. But now we are ready to try anything to pass the time.

So much time.

There would not have been so much time if I hadn’t lost my job. My job took a lot of time. But now we have even more time.


And we need a new puzzle. I asked around and a friend gave me one she had finished.

The magic cannot be invoked twice. It must be passed on.

This new puzzle magic was bigger though. We started it like the last one, on the kitchen table, handling the pieces and familiarizing ourselves.

It was not long before I recognized a problem. This was not a quick puzzle. We would need this table to eat from before the puzzle was done.

It had to be moved to another surface. We brought in side tables and this took some of the joy out. Still, we had made progress–we’d found all the corner pieces.

So the puzzle work was set aside in another room for later.

And later came sooner than I thought. That very night I work up in the dark. Hours passed. Sleep would not return.

But when the horizon turned light, I turned to the puzzle. 

Through the fog and the tired, I tried to arrange these pieces. My thoughts, my future, my goals, my life and I just found the corner of that book.  But where is the mouse right next to the corner?

I was sure we had lost pieces in the transfer. And in my sleepless fog I was sure I was missing pieces on the plan for the future, and the plan for the present which sure should have been better than trying to put together a cat puzzle alone.

Putting the puzzle together was not hard. I could do it. And maybe I could come up with a plan for the rest.

I remembered the story of the Snow Queen, one of the darkest scenes when the magic-deceived boy Kay is left by the wicked snow queen to put the pieces of the ice puzzle together. The wicked queen has left him to die of cold, but he is determined to put the pieces together. His faithful friend saves him from the impossible deadly task.

Oh there is the mouse, finally! I really thought I had lost the piece. I am not Kay. And even Kay was rescued.

This will come together. Yes, I may have lost a piece in all the moving, which will be sad. It will still be okay. Order will come out of chaos, with time and attention and a whole lot of little actions.

Comments are closed.