Wednesday, January 09, 2013

Digging A Hole To China

There is something fundamental about digging holes to China. During most of my 11 years at Woodland Park, we didn't have a sand pit, which meant we did most of our digging in mud or in our sensory table.

Muddy holes don't work so well for digging to China because they're always refilling themselves. Sensory table holes don't work so well because there's not enough depth to spark our imaginations.  Holes dug in the damp sand, however . . . Now that's what you need to dig a hole to China.

As a boy, I participated in many a journey through the center of the earth, and in all of the years that Woodland Park has had a sand pit, the children I teach have dug their own holes to China. And I know that we're not the only ones.

You would think we would have better relations with the Chinese with all the coming and going between our nations. After all, we're neighbors, living just one deep hole away from one another.

Of course, quite honestly, I don't recall having ever made it all the way to China. Come to think of it, despite all that digging over all those decades, I've never heard of anyone actually arriving on the other side of the earth. I'm not even certain that China is where we would end up were we, in fact, to succeed in popping through to the other side.

As we started our most recent hole to China, we wondered aloud about that. There was some speculation that we would instead end up in Africa or Mexico or grandma's house in Chicago or the middle of the Indian Ocean. And then there was some worry about the molten core because, we informed ourselves, it's made out of lava. We agreed that if lava came "oozing out" we would want to run. None of these doubts made us stop digging.

At one point, Calder, who understands his geography, said, "I don't think we could really dig all the way to China. It's really far."

After thinking, Erik answered, "Maybe there are some Chinese kids digging to us."

Calder shrugged, "We could meet them in the middle." Then they got back to work.

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