While walking with dad, we got to the section of the Cowichan trail that has the totem pole. It is about 10’ tall and beautifully carved. We talked about the art of carving, and laying out the design into the tree. Dad told me about the Luthier ~ someone who makes stringed instruments. The Luthier says, “The wood still thinks it’s a tree, but when I tune the strings, the wood will know it’s a guitar.”
A few days later, dad was putting a hand rail on their stairs to the basement. He re-used a 2×6 board from Dovey’s deck when the deck was rebuilt. Sound familiar? Dad also used wood from Dovey’s fence when he built a table for me ~ read my blog ‘Table’ of January 8, 2019. He thought of the tree, given new life and a new purpose again. He also used pieces of maple from the firewood pile as mounting blocks.
My dad makes me think of this quote from St. Francis of Assisi:
He who works with his hands is a labourer. He who works with his hands and his head is a craftsman. He who works with his hand, his head, and his heart is an artist.
A totem pole, a guitar and a thoughtfully and lovingly built handrail. The tree is no longer a tree but living a new purpose, given to them through the artist.
The artist I think, is proud to be part of something special like extending the life of the tree. It must be an honour, and I can imagine the loving energy surrounding these pieces made by the artist.