For many years I have appreciated the value of waking up at 3 a.m.
For most people, waking at 3 a.m. is upsetting because they say, “I can’t sleep.”
For me, waking at 3 a.m. is valuable because, “I am awake.”
Frequently, at 3 a.m.I am about to realize an important conclusion because my mind is refreshed, the house is silent, and my mind is blank.
Yes, a blank mind is a good thing.
My latest 3 a.m. conclusion was realizing the importance of curiosity.
Curiosity is the beginning of discovery.
I realized that curiosity has been a driver for me all of my life. And I realized it is what has motivated the people I know.
My greatest curiosity is trying to take a photo that captures or illustrates a moment.
I also have a curiosity in connecting wires together to see if my idea works. Those wires can be a computer, stereo, television, radio and antenna.
My wife’s curiosity is with food and knitting. She is ready to try what she has just learned about a new way of creating something to eat or wear.
Her curiosity about knitting is something she shares with my sisters and they can talk at great length about yarn. Good pun, huh? Yarn? Length?
My curiosity leads me to create photos that I can share with those around me or over the computer network, because I have connected the computers in our home to a network and the world.
I don’t have a pun for that, but wish I did.
My son’s curiosity leads him to try to fill the bins each fall with more bushels than he harvested last year. I believe farming is either on his mind or just in the background every minute.
These curiosities become our passion.
As I was thinking about curiosity, I remembered an event that happened a few days ago in our home.
We were watching over two granddaughters, ages 2 and almost 4, for a day.
The not quite 4-year-old had run into another bedroom and wailing loudly over her latest injustice.
My wife walked into that room and asked her if she wanted to help make blueberry pancakes for lunch.
It was as if she flipped a switch. Her curiosity was greater than whatever unfairness she was protesting about so loudly.
The wailing stopped and a little girl walked into the kitchen, took a seat on a stool and learned about cups of flour, eggs and beating the mixture.
She learned it was not just mixing, but actually beating to create the pancake batter.
As my granddaughter held the whisk that created the batter, I took a picture because that is what I do.
You can see the sense of discovery and wonder on her face.
Perhaps, after curiosity, followed by discovery, comes wonder and appreciation for what has been accomplished.
I look at my photo on the computer screen, my wife holds something she has knitted or tastes a new creation, my son wonders if he will have bin space for everything, and a little girl eats blueberry pancakes she helped prepare for lunch.
We each have that moment where we say to ourselves, “Look at what I did.”
And our curiosity creates the thoughts about how do I do this better next time.
Then after my 3 a.m. thoughts, it is around 5 a.m. and back to bed for the rest of a good night’s sleep.
My mind is filled.
Rye is a Farm News staff writer and farmer from Hanlontown. Reach him by e-mail at email@example.com.
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