My four-year old grandson, Walker, loves playgrounds. He especially likes the ones with things to climb on. He likes for me to climb on with him. I usually do.
Recently, during a church retreat, we were on a playground with a fort that featured several landing spots. While I was standing on the top, watching for dinosaurs, Walker was scouting around the bottom. He makes up stories while he plays, talking out the plot as he goes. As he was making threat assessments from monsters, bears and T-rexes, he said, “This fort is made of bricks and possibilities.”
I have no idea where that phrase originated — maybe from one of his television cartoon shows, maybe from one of the many books he enjoys, maybe out of that amazingly creative mind that astonishes me every time I see him. It is a rich concept, and I couldn’t help but think how it applies to any task worth doing.
The tallest skyscraper rests on a foundation of concrete, bedrock, or bricks and mortar. Everything else begins with possibilities — the architect’s imagination, the interior designer’s creativity, the talent of the people who will one day work there.
The best farmer follows a similar idea: seed and possibilities, perhaps. Planting the seed is the essential first step and the rest of the season lies before him, possibilities, dependent on his or her ability to manage all the factors necessary for a successful harvest. Unfortunately, success also depends on things farmers can’t control — weather, markets, unanticipated pests. But it’s the possibilities that keep them going.
Building a career is like that too. It starts with a good education or similar training. That’s the bricks. The rest is all possibilities, opportunities to carve out a niche, find a calling, discover a passion. Mine started as a reporter for a small weekly newspaper. At the time, I had no idea of the possibilities that lay ahead.
I think of Walker, what are his bricks and possibilities? The bricks are going down now. His mom and dad are seeing to that. His grandparents, all of them, are assisting. His two brothers are positive role models.
He’s learning manners, proper behavior, morals. He’s beginning to learn the basics of education at pre-school, as well as social skills.
The foundation promises to be solid — lots of strong bricks.
The possibilities, I hope and believe, will be infinite. He’s smart. He has a good sense of humor. He’s gentle when he’s not too busy being a four-year-old dinosaur hunter or Ninja fighting off the “bad guys.”
And that imagination will take him to places we can’t begin to fathom. For now, he has the possibilities to be a most amazing four-year old grandson who makes me smile every time I look at him.
What will his future hold? Ah, the possibilities.