Worth a Splinter

I felt nostalgic on my walk, so I plucked a stalk of wheat from the field. I used to do it a lot when I was a kid, pretending to be a farmer and chewing on grain. It also made me appreciate the plant that forms the foundation of German food — bread in particular — a lot more.

What is it worth to reconnect with that feeling? My girlfriend told me not to play around, and of course, as if to prove her point, I got not one but three small splinters from a single stalk of wheat. However, I also hadn’t pulled a splinter out of my thumb in years, and, oddly, even that was kind of fun. I’d do it all again in a heartbeat.

No risk, no reward, they say. If you play outside, you might catch a bruise. But if you don’t, you also don’t get to have fun, reconnect with nature, or draw inspiration from your nostalgia for simpler days — and if, as on most days, the worst we need expect from our adventures is a splinter, aren’t those rewards well worth the chance?