I frequently hear people say, “Oh, I never could do something like that; I just don’t have the patience.”
This canoe is going sooo much easier than my first one. I think it’s because I did learn something from building my first one. Besides the “skill set,” I have learned ‘patience!’ Perhaps not as much as I would like to have someday, but it is noticeable just the same. And beginning a canoe in September has it’s merit. Why the hurry to finish? Anyone think I am going to put my ass in the Maumee River in November? So, what’s the hurry?
But back to the ‘patience’ aspect here, before I get too far ‘down the river’… For the better part of my life, I approached Life in the “hair-on-fire” mindset. Had to get whatever done in order to begin then next project/activity. And in this mindset, I have lost and missed a great deal I suppose… But, with this project I have discovered it’s not too late. It’s not too late to capture the patience I have sought. And upon reflection, I can see my patience spilling over into other aspects of my daily life. Ah ha! You do something because you can’t do it; you do it so you can do it!
Something else I am tapping into with this canoe is, “spirituality.” Now, I am not going to even try to define “spirituality” here – it’s just too large for me to grasp, much less put down in words. However, I tend to be more aware now when I am in a “spiritual place.”
Last Spring a college friend and his wife, Marv and Claire, stopped by for a visit. I showed my first canoe to them and when we went back inside to continue our visit, Marv ordered plans to build a canoe of his own. I didn’t think much more of it at the time.
Last August I had the occasion to visit Marv and Claire in Washington. It wasn’t long before we were out in Marv’s shop, admiring his canoe!
Here we are just after applying the first coat of fiberglass. Marv has done an excellent job with his canoe, and I learned a bit more from helping him…
So now as I am building mine, Marv continually “walks through my mind.” I wonder if he knows how to do this or that, and how he might approach this or that. Then I recall things we did together at Bowling Green, when we were in ROTC. And I enjoy the time I spend with him – in my mind. This is a large facet of my spirituality these days…
So what I have discovered is, there is so much more in building a canoe than just building a canoe! There’s spirituality; there’s learning and there’s growth – if only I open myself up to it. If only I become “teachable.”