Nesting: Puzzle

Puzzle season is upon us – colder weather, fireside hot chocolate, football games, and indoor activity. Family members in several states share that they’ve broken out the puzzle boxes and are enjoying time around a table with actual puzzle pieces.

Puzzle time is a form of nesting. Silence while finding pieces. Meaningful or difficult conversations seem easier when working on a puzzle. Respite from outside to do and chore lists serves as quiet time for indoor puzzle making.

Whether a puzzle has a straight or stylized edge, the boundaries are clear; the picture can be completed; and the fun of finding the last ten pieces remains. So too in life, we seek clear boundaries, complete pictures rather than ambiguity, and we seek fun.

Jigsaw puzzles started out as flat maps on wood backing that were then cut into pieces in the 1760s (so far as we know). Other kinds of puzzles such as mazes and riddles date much further back. The online information about the history of puzzles over the millennia is fascinating.

Board puzzles with oversized pieces for toddlers have been popular in wood and cardboard for decades. Some puzzles are so big (with big pieces) that they must be constructed on the floor. Puzzles can be simple or complex; tell a story or just be a picture; and can teach things like colors, shapes, geography, flora, and fauna. Now, jigsaw puzzles come in spheres (it was tricky to finish without splitting it apart). Puzzles can be customized with family photos and can be found in libraries for community put-togethers.

Puzzle time relaxes some of us (me). For others, putting together a puzzle is a source of stress. For some, once a puzzle is begun, completion has to occur before peace is restored to the household. Some of us don’t mind a missing puzzle piece or two, while others will throw away a puzzle that is missing a piece. A few families I know trade puzzles before giving them to nursing homes or thrift shops for others to enjoy.

What puzzle would you like to complete?

Nesting is about the objects and experiences that create a sense of home. Without home, it is difficult to maintain health, find joy, or to be productive. Enjoy the Nesting series of blogs on your search for and creation of a deep sense of home. –Jana

Jana Kemp

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