My Dad has always been a handyman, one of those guys who had no formal qualifications but was able to look at what needed fixing and before long, it was completed. His support was always offered when jobs needed to be done around the house, or when I was a child he would build toys and cubby houses from scratch for my siblings and me to enjoy.
I recently asked him for some support with a project that was being set up with the local park community. They were asking residents to help build a new nature playground and for volunteers to construct a small table and a sorting box for the play space amongst the bushes. I approached my Dad and asked if he was interested as he loved to work with wood, and his backyard was a permanent display of benches and picnic tables he had built over the years.
Over the next 3 days I had the privilege of working and standing in deep appreciation of this man and his relationship with wood and the craftsmanship of carpentry.
Day One: Preparation Stage
My Dad waited patiently for the materials to be dropped off at his home from the local hardware store. When I arrived he had already placed all of his working materials meticulously on the bench: an assortment of cutters and tools that he had used regularly and that he knew would support him to design and build these pieces. He checked that he had easy access to the area and that there was plenty of workspace for him to move around as he manipulated the materials.
I sat with my Dad and discussed the design, asking him for support and possible options in ways we would start the process. I noticed that as I worked there was this inbuilt urgency to get it up and running as my Dad continued to ponder on the measurements, sizing up and spending time feeling the wood and how it would react to the cutting processes.
I could feel a bit of agitation in my body. I was going into the ‘get it done’ mode and my Dad, in his clear and calm voice, repeated the words … “Just a minute.” Although I said nothing, I sat a bit annoyed with having to wait, not taking into consideration that my Dad was appreciating the moment and what was on offer for him to learn.
Our next stage was to begin measuring and marking the wood so that it could be cut into the correct sizes to be assembled. I went into auto pilot mode and started to measure at fast speed with a simple metal ruler. My Dad asked if I was checking the measurements from both sides, as he had noticed that the wood panels were slightly raised and that this fact could alter the accuracy. I wasn’t sure what he meant and replied, “…I think so.” Within minutes my Dad appeared with a tape measure and with a steady voice showed me the importance of taking your time and measuring both sides of the wood to achieve accuracy, as this was the difference, he said, between a balanced or lopsided table.
After stopping for a cuppa and a quick bite to eat, I presumed we would continue with the cutting and assembling process. My Dad replied… “That’s it for today. I need to sit and draw the measurements and we can start cutting tomorrow morning. This will give me time to check that all the blades are working and I have all the tools ready to go in the morning.” I stood a bit confused, slightly annoyed, as I had a plan in my head of having this finished within the day. I hesitated a bit and then agreed and headed home.
For the rest of the day this agitation stayed with me. I sat wondering why there was tension in my body and what was my investment in having to have these pieces completed quickly when there was no deadline. I knew that I had given the job to a person who would produce an incredible piece of woodwork for all who visited the park to enjoy, but the speed to complete the process was leaving me feeling uncomfortable.
The next morning I woke and read the following quote from a book by Serge Benhayon “If everything is energy, therefore, everything is BECAUSE of energy.” (Serge Benhayon, Esoteric Teachings & Revelations, p 220)
A big ouch moment was felt. I was driven by the energy of doing and my Dad stayed steady in the energy of being.
I could feel how the doing was running my body whilst my Dad stayed consistent with himself and did what was needed on that day, nothing more and nothing less. Being with himself was paramount, as this was the quality of energy the work would be completed in.
Day Two: Cutting Stage
I arrived early to begin the cutting stage. My Dad had already positioned all the wood panels on the large working bench and had his assortment of safety gear ready to go. I watched how he planned each move so that he was taking care of his body, whilst at the same time working with the heavy and loud machinery. He asked me to sand the pieces and encouraged me to wear a pair of safety glasses and gloves to avoid injury and any splinters.
I had noticed that on day two as I was coming to work on the project, I was starting to truly appreciate being with my Dad in the process. There was an ease in which the cutting stage was completed. Our communication was clear and each part of the process moved with clear precision and flow. The urgency that I felt the day before was gone, as I was now more aware of staying present with the moment, and stood back openly to hear my Dad’s suggestions on how to assemble the items we had worked together to build. We stopped again for a cuppa and a bite to eat and this time I noticed that I was not hungry and did not need to numb the feelings that I had the previous day. The agitation and push was not there and neither was the feeling to distract myself with food.
My Dad then mapped out the floor space in his work shed, placed all the pieces on the floor, like a large Lego construction site, and locked the shed door saying… “Tomorrow is the best part. That’s when it all comes together and you get to see your hard work.” It was humbling to hear my Dad appreciate and settle into the joy he would experience the next day. He was in no hurry to complete what he knew was a process that would be worth the wait.
Day Three: Assembling Stage
I unexpectedly arrived slightly later on the third day and thought my Dad would be up already assembling the play equipment. Surprisingly, he waited until I arrived and said… “Jobs like these are a two man job. You can’t beat the precision that comes from two people getting the job done.”
So together, like the foundation of the previous day, we assembled two amazing nature play pieces for our local park community with ease, precision and incredible accuracy.
I sat, extremely blessed to have shared in this moment with my Dad. I stopped to appreciate the incredible levels of patience and craftsmanship he had shown in moulding each piece of wood and the steady pace that he worked at to prevent errors, and how he honored himself in each step with rest and reflection.
My Dad was truly inspiring in his actions and was a great reflection that reminded me of the works of Serge Benhayon and the Ancient Wisdom, teaching us of the true power of working with an energetic quality that serves all.
The nature playground equipment now nestles amongst the trees in the local park that I pass each day. The way in which this was made – the care, dedication and precision of my Dad and his skills – is truly a blessing for each child that engages in its true purpose to play!