Sunday, April 11, 2010


I am here in my mother's home, surrounded by her things and memories of her love. Two of my sisters and I have been going through her things, organizing papers, planning for her memorial service and the distribution of her household goods.

I have mentioned before in the blog, that I am a woodworker for three reasons. My mother, in my earliest years, provided creative opportunities for the making of things. Whether with finger paints, modeling clay or hammers and nails, our hands were kept busy, and our minds as well. Her training as a kindergarten teacher had a profound effect on her role as a mother and gave an understanding of her children's needs for growth, which of necessity involved the hands. Secondly was my father's role of encouraging each of us, including my mother, to be engaged in creativity and the arts. Here in my mother's home, I am surrounded by many things that were made by my mother, my sisters and myself, including clay and bronze sculptures. Each of these objects can be viewed as a symbolic representation of a vast reservoir of encouragement toward growth. I have mentioned before the Shop Smith that my parents gave me on my 14th birthday and which is still in use in my wood shop. While parents today may give powerful consumer electronics to their children to serve as entertainment and distraction, no reasonable comparison can be made with a real tool that gives the capacity of physical creativity. Third in influence would be my great aunt Allene. As a 6th grade school teacher in Ft. Dodge, Iowa, it was Aunt Allene who introduced my mother and father in 1946. In addition, my mother's house was filled with fine things that Aunt Allene had given; art, glassware, furniture, that formed a baseline of quality in our home and inspired my interest in quality craftsmanship.

At this point, it is a comfort to be surrounded by my mom's things. While we are busy sorting, arranging, and disbursing, we feel the love and encouragement she shared with us from her training as a kindergarten teacher. I could only wish that all on this planet might be so blessed. I you have a child or grandchild, put their hands to work in their learning. Cook, plant, make, create. Express your own creativity. Set an example that will keep the wisdom of the hands alive. Blessings will ensue.

No comments:

Post a Comment