Master Builder
Bev Vines-Haines
Dorsal Winner

I think Lars was born to build, to fix, to shape wood and glass and stone into servitude to man.  Not in a wicked way like slavery or with the brutality of a textile tycoon.  Ah no, he loves the wood, he strokes the glass and he courts the stone with the fervor of a lover.

I watched him once as he restored the elegance and charm of a hundred year old mansion, old beams, joined by new to lend support.  He treated them both the same.  Coupling them like a stately old gentleman and a muscled youth.  Each stud, each bone of that manor, soon nestled itself against fresh wood, seeming to sigh as the century long weight became shared.                

I watch him now.  He is building a shed for our lawn mower, garden supplies and tools.  A humble structure to be sure.  And still he loves the wood, stroking the grain, cutting angles with precision, never wasting an inch that might be spared.   I smile, knowing  this shed will surely be standing when that mansion reaches its second hundred-year mark.  The newspapers will most likely do a story on the house on the Bay, but they will overlook the shed, never notice its straight lines, weathered perfection or its uncomplaining service.                

Yes, I think he was born to build.  Watching him, I realize this is just one of his many gifts.  Had he been a fireman or a police officer, he would have been the same, caring for people, tending them like stone and wood and glass.  His essence is to mold, to salvage, to protect.                   

He strikes each nail with care, driving it deep into the wood.  Wham.  Wham.  Satisfied, he moves to the next.  The shed takes its place against our skyline.  It settles in amongst the trees.  A bird lands already on the roof, as if this structure has always been here, as if it always will be here.                 

I am humbled.  Lars is a master builder, a man comfortable with his place and position, willing to carry a hammer instead of a briefcase, a saw instead of a scepter, willing to wear work clothes instead of a suit.                    

How lucky I am to have fallen under his care.  He tends me like the wood, his callused hands soothing my worry, my fear, my world ravaged spirit.   He holds me with infinite patience, not struggling against my rebellion, never chiding me for being defensive and unyielding.  But like I said, he is a master builder.  Slowly, slowly I bend to his goodness and his example and I am better every day for yielding to his love.

First published: May, 2010
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