My husband is building his work table for the Stained Glass Studio. He’s been planning, drafting, re-drafting and replanning it for about four months now, and it’s finally taking shape.
Since our garage is full of lumber, sheetrock, MDF and other building sundries the entire house smells like it did when it was brand new. It’s kind of a weird feeling, actually. Here we are now with the stained carpets and the ice maker that won’t make ice and the washing machine that needs the fabric softener distribution thingie replaced…a life that is thirteen years on from when we first moved in. But then the garage door opens and it smells like hope and new and maybe we’ll have dinner parties and someday we’ll even put in a pool.
I love trees. Back in the Nervous Time when there were real worries about possibly having to move my heart broke at the thought of leaving the trees we planted. I’ve left one Sycamore in my childhood backyard. When we moved into the new house on Popp Road I was 16 and college was looming so I didn’t want to commit to any of the trees. At this house, where we moved when I was 29, we’ve planted a weeping willow, an oak and a sweet gum. There is an Osage Orange, a river birch and a Bradford Pear that were here before we moved in. I love them all; they feel like very old friends I can trust.
I say all of this to say why I feel guilty loving new wood so much. New wood means an old tree has been chopped down. But now that I think about it, I do think it’s fantastically wonderful that the trees can keep bringing their trustworthiness along with them. And of course they bring hope too. That fantastic smell of going to the lumber yard with my dad to pick out the boards for our major swingset. The exciting smell of the woodworking shop in the basement where I made my projects for wood shop and where my dad and I put together my dollhouse from a kit.
Wood is just a wonderful gift. I think there should always be wood in a home.
I keep thinking I ought to bring this around to some serious point that ties it all together, but I don’t know that I have one. It’s 2am and I’m up and in pain and the rain is threatening to keep at it and I have this massive zit on my forehead and I just watched that show “Girls” on HBO and I’m just really aware of all the ways in which the world can massively go off the rails.
But then there are still trees. And wood from those trees. And that’s how I know there’s more to life than zits and ennui. Maybe that’ll have to be my concluding thought. Because, really, is there a better one?