Saturday, May 05, 2007

All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten

Last Wednesday I spent much of the day down at the farm putting on the finishing touches (taping the thing together with postal tape) on the 100’ field high tunnel frame and putting in tomato stakes. By evening I came home bone weary and depressed as I usually do after spending the day toiling at the farm and seeing once again the barren foundation walls and crumpled concrete slab that was my house and garage, covered with tattered plastic tarps, muddy concrete blocks, and rusting remains of tools and other metal objects I think may be salvageable.

I got in late as I was determined to get those tomato stakes in before dark and have every thing ready to put on plastic early the next morning before the wind gets up. Christine wanted to get away earlier to go to Wednesday evening prayer meeting at church and it was probably a good thing she did as I am usually grumpy by evening and not much fun to be with anyhow.

I got home around dark to find the house to myself. What better time to rummage a little leftover food from the fridge, turn on the old stereo I had salvaged from the fire ruins and regenerated with a repaired electrical cord and speakers I had procured at a yard sale, and find something good to read. I tuned in evening classical music on our local National Public Radio station, flopped into a Lazy Boy recliner, and flipped open the pages of a little paperback entitled All I Really Need to Know I Learned in Kindergarten by Robert Fulghum. What better way is there to rest a stressed body and mind?

The opening chapter began by the author describing his quest to put in simple written form his personal statement of belief or Credo. After many years of trying to get it condensed to less than one page, he finally succeeded. Here it is.

• Share everything.
• Play fair.
• Don’t hit people.
• Put things back where you find them.
• Clean up your own mess.
• Don’t take things that aren’t yours.
• Say you’re sorry when you hurt someone.
• Wash your hands before you eat.
• Flush when you are done. (My wife sometimes says I haven’t learned this one yet.}
• Live a balanced life—learn and think and draw and paint and sing and dance and play and work some every day.
• Take a nap every afternoon.
• When you go out into the world, look both ways when you cross the street, hold hands, and stay together.
• Remember the seed in the little paper cup. The roots go down and the plant goes up and nobody really knows how or why.
• Goldfish and hamsters and white mice and even the seed in the little paper cup—all die. So do we.
• Finally remember the Dick-and-Jane books and the first word you learned to read—the biggest word of all—LOOK.

Need I say more?
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1 comment:

Debbie Ernest said...

Hello Marlin-

After hearing from Christine I typed Glen Echo Farm into google & came across your blog. It was very interesting to read. I really enjoy your writing style. The Lord has blessed you with a real gift of putting words to the page. I'd give some real thought to compiling your monthly blog entries into a book much like Fannie's sister did with her many cooking recipes & kitchen tips. The end result was a very informative & interesting Mennonite cook book that was both entertaining & a benefit to all ages.

I believe your thoughts on everything from seeds & sellng the crops you reap at the market to your families up & downs yet never losing faith would also be entertaining & a benefit to all ages.

Just my opinion :) You have a real gift! May God bless you & the family.

~Debbie Ernest~ (Del-Gallo)