Saturday, December 31, 2016

Life Is A Ravensburger Puzzle

Tony and I walk the beach on a beautiful, sunny morning, the week after Christmas. It seems all the world has descended on Coronado Island, and since the weather is so fine for a December day, everyone has come to the beach.

Most are prepared; they carry surfboards, boogie boards, and set up umbrellas on the shore. The water is chillllllly, so the super prepared are in wet suits. Some are unprepared, so they roll up their pants and run into, and away, from the surf. A mother strips the soaking wet clothes from her child and he runs naked.

As I pass by children, it is evident for some, it is their first time at the ocean. Their delight is spectacular! I burst into laughter as I see their explosive expressions and squeals of surprise.

So many people! All in their own world.

We pass an exercise class of at least 50 people, all dressed in swimming suits. On our way back, they've all plunged in and out of the water, and when we are face to face, they are back on land,  chicken skinned, red, and near shivering.

A man thinks he has spotted dolphins in the sea. He screams in his native tongue, which sounds Korean; he animatedly scoots across the sand pointing, pointing, yelling. His family watches. Everyone watches. The dolphins are swimmers.

A toddler is in her bikini and won't come out of the gentle surf, despite her blue lips and chattering teeth. The parents try to steer her away, but she insists on keeping her toes in the frigid Pacific.

When my children were young, one of my favorite activities was to get down on the floor and put together a Ravensburger puzzle. I still remember the scenes: the lake with the children floating in tubes; the mountain scene with jubilant hikers, and a camper on the side of the road with a flat tire. So much activity packed into a puzzle, each person oblivious of the next, each scene extremely amusing.

Ravensburger sells millions of dollars in puzzles each year, and they do it because they reconstruct in caricature and hyperbole the human experience.

How funny we are.

A modern Ravensburger puzzle