Life Lessons from The Big Big Loader
If T had a favorite kid's toy, it was the Big Big Loader. He first saw it at a close friend's house, where three boys and their parents resided cheek-by-jowl in a tiny two-bedroom house in Southern California. It takes up a bit of floor space, is not terribly robust (it can't be easily moved once set up and shouldn't be jostled), and provides no interaction, but everyone was fascinated by it. When D was old enough, T got a Big Big Loader for our house, and we got quite good at setting it up, just to watch it do its thing.
It's endlessly repetitious -- scoop, dump, load, dump, roll, scoop, dump. Over and over, the same exact thing without variation. But it does it so well, so neatly, with such focus and dedication. It's mesmerizing to watch; you can't believe how well it all works together, time after time, never slowing down or getting tired.
I set it up at Thanksgiving, and B and our Thanksgiving guests all loved it. Such a clever design! Each piece works so well with the others, doing just its one little action in the elaborate choreography of the whole.
It's a bit like life. Breakfast, lunch, dinner. Sleep, wake, bathe, talk. Work, care for others, love. The same exact thing over and over, day in and day out. Yet a life lived with focus, dedication, and attention to doing what needs to be done at any moment can be a life of peace and joy.