Straw Strength

brown wooden barn

From the desk of Teresa Jordan, Executive Director – In my early childhood there was no yard light and the walk to the barn could be dark and long despite that fact that it was only about 50 metres long. Ours being a big family, flashlights were often lost. So one of my brothers, at a very young age, worked out a strategy … he could walk to the barn in the dark as long as he carried a piece of straw. If he focused on the straw while he walked, he was not afraid or overwhelmed by the darkness.

This is genius for a six year old! He knew already that the answer to getting through the tough stuff is to focus on what is close by, what is in the present moment, what is controllable. He could traverse that long, dark passage because he had something on which to focus.

I should add that he is often teased mercilessly about this practice, even now, but the strategy holds. A big expanse of troubling unknowns or challenges is conquerable if we focus on what is the next step, what is close, what is in the immediate span of control … and keep moving forward. The barn will soon loom large in front of us if we focus on one piece of straw at a time.

(This brother shall remain nameless so that he never knows that I think his strategy was genius, but there it is … the strategy for challenges of all kinds is a piece of straw.)

Photo by Jeff Nissen on

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