Winding Oak's Bookology Magazine


ph_moseyingMy favorite road trips focus more on the dis­cov­er­ies the jour­ney holds than on rapid­ly reach­ing a des­ti­na­tion. You might call me a mosey­ing kind of per­son.

Every fall, my mom and I load my nephews and niece into the car for one of my favorite mean­ders: a vis­it to the Min­neso­ta Land­scape Arbore­tum. In the years it has tak­en for the old­est of the kids to go from babies to tex­ting teenagers, we have per­fect­ed the art of stretch­ing the Arboretum’s Three-Mile Dri­ve into a sev­er­al hours’ ram­ble.

There are year­ly rit­u­als: a stop to see if the kids can still squeeze them­selves inside the lit­tle hous­es, a good long roll down the big green hill. But our leisure­ly pace also affords us the time to notice some­thing new each vis­it: the tex­ture of this par­tic­u­lar tree trunk, the fire cap­tured in that indi­vid­ual autumn leaf. The vista of the dis­tant barn crown­ing the tree­tops.

This tak­ing-a-deep-breath jour­ney allows me the chance to notice the way the teenaged nephew who Grand­ma once car­ried across this same park­ing lot, now leans down to pro­tec­tive­ly offer Grand­ma his arm.

Some­times writ­ing, par­tic­u­lar­ly in the revi­sion stage, requires that we slow our­selves way down. It is not always pos­si­ble to hur­ry and still do it right, but giv­en enough time, we have the oppor­tu­ni­ty to notice the tex­ture of the words, to ask our­selves if the piece’s fire burns bright­ly enough.

The next time you chal­lenge your stu­dents to revise, encour­age them to notice each indi­vid­ual word. Ask them to focus on the dis­cov­er­ies they are mak­ing, rather than on the des­ti­na­tion of a due date or a grade.

Some­times mosey­ing makes for bet­ter writ­ing.

One Response to Moseying

  1. Jane Heitman Healy May 27, 2016 at 8:45 pm #

    I real­ly like that. Focus on the dis­cov­er­ies. That’s where the learn­ing takes place! I also love the Min­neso­ta Land­scape Arbore­tum. Have only been there once, but vow to return!

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