Last night, my wife and I began a jigsaw puzzle. We have several outlets of entertainment yet few are as captivating to us as this simple game of intellect and patience. Setting stages of play from clearing the table, to categorizing the pieces, finding the ones that are part of the border, and finally finding the first two that connect to one another. From there it is a test of determination and will to find the next among a seemingly endless pile of copies. Slowly, piece by piece, colors become distinguishable and patterns come together to form grand images.
This morning I moved the puzzle so we can continue to work on it comfortably at the kitchen table. And as I tenderly moved the nearly finished border and center mass of completed pieces I realized how significant this puzzle was in the grander scheme of things.
It has been nearly a year since I married Sara. I feel truly blessed that in that time we have laughed more than cried, eaten together every day, slept together every night, and learned the smallest and most important qualities of one another. Slowly, day by day, we were fitting the pieces together of our story.
It started with two pieces that amongst the thousands somehow ended up next to each other. A date in a zoo in December. From that night, another date, and another piece was connected. Concerts, parties, movies on the couch, and snacks in the car. Pieces connecting, finding their way out of a pile of chaos. By the end of the first year, the puzzle had a clear outline. More memories, more pieces finding their place to fit. And like any good puzzle, there are moments of challenge. Pieces that seem so out of place, and difficult to comprehend how they could be part of the bigger picture. But they are simply shadows of the larger image being created.
For Sara and I, the image has a long way to go before being complete. Yet already I can make out scenes of family, laughter, and love.
The interesting thing about puzzles is that there is an objectified goal to complete the image that is printed on the box. Solve the puzzle as it were. Yet, what draws my excitement towards them is simply finding the next piece. Making the connections. Celebrating the triumph in finding the piece that fits. How wonderful it is to reflect on Life that way, looking at each day and memory made as a connection to the grander order of all things.
How exciting it will be to step back at the end of all things, and look upon what we had created.