The 2014 Walnut Metaphor

For maximum efficiency when walnuts fall, gather them. There is a sweet spot of time between walnuts on the ground, and walnuts on the ground covered by humungous walnut leaves. You really really don’t want to miss that window.

This year we missed it. Oh my!

This is what we typically aim for.


Being ‘late’ got us a ground covered with these


Sometimes we miss the best time to harvest because we’re too busy with other things. Urgent or important? The walnuts don’t care. They’re simply there waiting to be gathered.


I suspect most teachers are on a constant vigil for the perfect metaphor. I am no different. So, as my reverend, my oldest son, and granddaughter Cambria, tackled the task of harvesting the walnuts, I was teasing out the teachable moment. (whilst taking pictures, of course!)

Neglect, whether by chance or by choice, is still neglect. Neglect will inevitably have its impact. In this case, harvesting the 2014 walnuts took considerably more effort than other years.

The end result is the same. Once gathered, shucked, dried, cracked, and ready to eat, the walnuts are still delicious. At their core they still are what we need them to be. Eatable and yummy.

Back to the metaphor. How often do we get busy, and in the busy miss those sweet spot moments? My intent is not to be judgemental. Life is busy. We are all busy. The urgent wrestles to capture us constantly. By habitually moving to the urgent how often do I miss that magical moment? That teachable moment; the just right time for someone to move forward. Whether at school or at home, how often do I let distractions take my focus away from what really matters?

As for the walnuts; we still reaped a bountiful harvest. This year we did it the hard way. Could it be that if we were less focused on ‘everything’, we might experience that sweet spot of joy with our littles…in just that right moment. They are there, waiting to be.


Until next time,

The Story of the Log Jam

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