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Put-Your-Shoulder-To-The-Wheel Put-Your-Shoulder-To-The-Wheel
by Leah Sellers
2012-08-29 09:09:09
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The Young Girl stood up and hooded her squinting eyes with her sweaty, muddy Hand.  She caught the eyes of each of her four similarly sweaty and muddy Cousins.  They were all thinking the same thing.  “Let’s stop Workin’ and go Swimmin’.”
“Grandpa, it’s almost noon.  We’re almost done plantin’ this section of the Garden.  Can we all take a little break ?”
“The job’s not done, Cheyenne.  This Garden helps to Feed the Family, and those in the Community who don’t have enough to eat.  Let’s finish these last two rows of red potatoes, and then we’ll all walk down to the Blue Hole for a Swim.”
“Yes Sir !  Cheyenne and her four Cousins shouted out with gleeful relief.
“Now, you Young’uns Put-Your-Shoulders-To-The-Wheel.”
“Gladly, Grandpa.  Come on ya’ll let’s get back to the Task-at-Hand,”  Cheyenne bent over and scooped-out a six inch hole into the rich black dirt with her Hand before reaching down into her burlap sack and pulling out a small red potato.  She dropped the potato into the hole she had just made, and got ready to do the same thing twelve inches down the row.
A long, plump Earthworm wriggled its way up to the top of the row’s mound just beneath her Hand.  Cheyenne smiled and left the burrowing creature alone.  Grandpa had taught her that the Worm’s waste products were wonderful compost for the Garden’s soil.  So she was careful not to damage the Earthworm as she planted her next potato into the ground.
Cheyenne had not heard what she wanted to hear from her Grandpa.  She was hot and tired, and wanted to quit.  But she Loved and Respected her Grandfather.  So, with a sigh and dreaming about the fun she and her Cousins, and Grandpa, would have playing on the rope swing her Uncle Johnny had hung around one of the thick branches of a large oak tree that stretched out across the deep, cool waters of the Blue Hole, she Put-Her-Shoulder-To-The-Wheel and diligently Worked to complete the Task-at-Hand.

“Granddaughter, time to Rise and Shine.  The Church doors will open in one hour.  You need to get up and get dressed for Sunday School and Church.”
“Yes Sir,”  the Young Girl yawned.  “I’m Risin’ and Shinin’ this very instant.”
Grandpa smiled warmly at Cheyenne.  “Your Aunt Marie wants you to Sing “How Great Thou Art” in Church this morning.  Do you feel up to the
Task ?”
“Yes Sir.  I love to Sing and I love the Song “How Great Thou Art”.  It’s a beautiful Prayer about the Wonders of the Earth and the Grace, Mercy and Love of God.”
“I’ll gladly Put-My-Shoulder-To-The-Wheel for the Task-at-Hand, Grandpa.”  Cheyenne popped out of bed, and padded down the cool wooden floor of the hallway to the bathroom.

“Grandma, may I help you set the Table ?”  Cheyenne asked as she waltzed into the Kitchen in her Sunday Best.
“Yes, Baby.  Thank you for Offering.”
“You can thank Mama for Teaching me to Offer a Helping-Hand no matter where I am or the Task-at-Hand, Grandma.”
Grandma smiled at her cheerful Granddaughter saying, “Great Minds think alike.”
Cheyenne smiled in return while setting out the china plates, napkins and silverware.  “Mama’s your daughter, Grandma.  You Raised her and she Raised me to always Put-My-Shoulder-To-The-Wheel.”

“Grandpa, who taught you to always Put-Your-Shoulder-To-The-Wheel, no matter the Task-at-Hand ?”
“Well, Cheyenne, my Father and his Father’s Father, and right on down the Family-line.  When Our Forefathers and Foremothers were settling this Land there were no cars or trucks.  Our Ancestors traveled the Appalachian Trail with horses, mules, oxen, Conestoga Wagons and their own two legs.  Those Wagons carried all of Our ancestors Worldly possessions, food and water.  Everything they needed to Survive the difficult Journey and Create a new Home.”
“If a Wagon’s Wheel got stuck in deep ruts or mud or River sand pits our Pioneering Ancestors would Put-Their-Shoulders-To-The-Wheel to get the Wagon moving again.  They would literally apply their Shoulders-To-The-Wheel and use Body Mechanics, Leverage and their shear Wills to Lift and Move the Wheel out of the rut and get it Working again - Moving the whole Wagon Forward again.”
“No matter what, whenever an Individual got stuck, or couldn’t handle the Task-at-Hand by themselves, the Community would step in and offer a Helping-Hand.  They would Put-Their-Shoulders-To-The-Wheel, and get Everyone’s Wagons and Lives moving Forward again.”
“Those Actions and Attitudes Benefited Everyone in the Community.  That’s how Individuals, their Families and Neighbors Survived and Thrived.  That’s how Communities Survived and Thrived.”
“Throughout Life, Cheyenne, we Move our Faith, Hope, Dreams and Life’s Works Forward by Putting-Our-Shoulders-To-The-Wheel, Individually and In Community.”
“So, Granddaughter, every time you handle the Task-at-Hand and Put-Your-Shoulder-To-The-Wheel you are part of this Family’s and this Great Nation’s Living History.”
Cheyenne, blinking back the tears of Pride and Gratitude in her eyes, smiled up at her Grandpa.  “I Love you, Grandpa.  Thank you for being such a good Teacher and Mentor, and for always having me to Independently Take-On-The-Task-At-Hand, and Offer a Helping-Hand.  But most importantly, to always be Willing to Put-My-Shoulder-To-The-Wheel for mySelf and my Community.”

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