By Barbara Tam

The first to show-up were the fat buds on the maple trees, the tiny Bluets in the grass, and the two Robins who return each year.  And then came the ladders and paint cans; garden fencing and seed packets.  Clay tools were cleaned, cobwebs swept, rotted porch steps replaced, and the Farmhouse Gallery installed.  Making ready for Makers.  And aren’t we really all makers? 

Like you, if you are reading this, I have opposing thumbs which give me the ability to grasp things.  Thumbs.  Very handy.  Apparently, we humans have been making tools and objects as far back as 2 or 3 million years ago.  That thumb provides the possibility, but without our prodigious and amazing human imaginations, not much would happen.  First comes the idea of an idea.  That tiny spark that slowly grows out and wants to become something to see, touch, taste.  Be.  The development of that head-thought into that real thing is the world of the Maker, who may take the path of potter, designer, story-teller, craftsperson, builder, musician, chef, dancer, farmer. . . . .

Megan, our Farm Manager, tells me that already this Spring, we have gathered [using thumbs] over 160 dozen eggs from the laying hens with more coming every day and available at the Farm Store [along with veggies and other deliciousness].  Admittedly, my daily observations linger when watching the antics of the goats.  They truly are such ‘kids’ as they play together and leap into the air with such a joyfulness.   

One afternoon recently, two most brazen and bold pigs escaped their woods and pasture enclosure.  As we lured them back to their companions with a big bucket of soaked grain, I got to thinking about how we humans sometimes just yearn to escape our own confines.   To try something, gain a new skill, experience an unknown taste.  It takes a bit of courage sometimes to take the leap, but I guess we must just trust in it.  Perhaps those two pigs were curious, wanted an adventure.  Or maybe they just seized an opportunity. 

Like summer, good things often arrive slowly.  I try to watch for the possibilities, the opportunities.  Like ideas.  Like new adventures and places to find them.  Philosophically, we are always arriving.  Practically, too.  While we are continually leaving things behind, we are at the same time arriving somewhere.  The dictionary gives me synonyms: to appear, turn up, enter, present oneself, materialize, reach, attain, make it.......make it ?  Okay, that I can do!  Now to begin arriving.


Barbara Tam has taught visual arts to students from kindergarten through high school in both private and public schools for more than 35 years.  She loves being with young artists dreaming big about their creative ideas and working to make those ideas real.  

The natural world and its mysteries and intrigues is the focus of Barbara’s own explorative work, primarily in clay, paper, and fiber.  She is the co-founder and board chair of Craigardan.