How could this mess possibly become something?

By. Elizabeth Garden

As a little girl Ruth would stare at a confounding page of jumbled numbers on a connect the dots puzzle, scrutinizing and rotating the page, unable to see beyond the minestrone of numbers all akimbo, but intrigued that the jumble before her held a key to something more. Following the number sequence step-by-step forced her to have faith that indeed, there is order in the chaos and that usually it is impossible to know the big picture unless and until it is approached methodically.

Perhaps it was because she was from Connect-icut, she was one of those people who loved to connect the dots, seek the hidden picture, the lesson, the meaning, the purpose lurking within or underneath any and everything. The hidden chalice in the Highlights magazine illustration. The oracle of the car radio. A chance bird swoop perfectly timed as if in confirmation to a thought. A word synchronistically repeated from seemingly random sources.

Like an alchemist, she took delight when seemingly random elements conspired to build something new and heretofore unimagined. Her feelers were forever on the lookout for clues which could come from anywhere.

She led her life with the assumption that this was The Way It Is. Ruth kept that concept in a little purse of ideas she carried around invisibly, fermenting and growing it to a higher level. She became certain that clues were always there, and with faith and perseverance an underlying picture gradually emerges from the soup. There was an intelligence behind situations, lessons to be learned everywhere.