Thinking Hard

Connie on her rocking horse

At an early age, I came to the notion that there was something to be understood in the world out there and that it would take some hard thinking to get to it.

I did my first thinking on a wooden rocking horse with metal springs.  Things to think about would pile up, I’d climb on my horse, think them into some sort of order, and then go back to playing.  Sooner or later, I reasoned, I would think my way to the thing that needed to be understood.

Every once in awhile, one of the metal springs on my horse would break.  Usually my father had a new spring stored away and I was back in the saddle in short order.  But sometimes the supply of springs was depleted and I had to wait for him to get more at the store.  Waiting for the spring with my red horse disabled was torture.  Things that needed to be thought would pile up.  I would become alarmed…frantic.  But my father always arrived with the spring before I drowned in the unthought-about bits and pieces of my four-year-old life.

Later on, I did my thinking in a rocking chair or pacing back and forth.  But my first attempts to think my way to the thing that must be understood happened on a wooden rocking horse with metal springs that sometimes broke.