Over the past couple weeks I set out to build my first staircase.
It was a necessary addition to the warehouse my company is leasing and I won the duty. “Won” is my interpretation of “assigned”. You see, I love working with wood. Building my own furniture is one of those big dreams for me. A dream that has been nothing but good intentions and talk, but that is slowly changing, which brings me back to my story. As I said, I began building a staircase to the top of an office (10′ 10″) complete with landing and rails, and yesterday I finished it!
The whole process was amazing and I learned quite a bit. Fortunately, none of my hard earned lessons were overly expensive and it came together almost entirely according to plan. Of course, I could not foresee my design flaws at the start. I discovered them as I went and made changes accordingly. To use the promised imagery of the subject line, I discovered what was around the corner by walking down the street towards it. I am more than satisfied with the results. Now, take all I learned and add an unexpected comment from a friend while in the midst of this little journey and with complete clarity I realize the first piece of furniture I want to build for my home.
Before I tell you what that is, realize that I don’t just look at a room and see a design. I’ve had more than a little trouble imagining what I want, let alone worrying about building it. That made it a very welcome revelation. What will it be?
One large enough for eight people to sit around. Yes, my dining room is going to be a very low table, pillows to sit on, and a blanket to keep the heat in. A blanket that my friends and family immediately worry will ignite and burn. It is probably in some small part my inability to accurately describe what a Kotatsu is. That and their lack of knowledge when it comes to Japanese culture. I wonder how they’d feel if I dug a pit in the center of the floor and used charcoal for heat rather than an electric heater?
But I digress…
In this discovery and the gift of a bed, I unexpectedly found what was around the next corner. The design for the headboard has also come into being. Piece by piece, little by little, the picture is taking shape as I add one thing at a time. Eventually, I’ll get the whole picture.
When it comes to living, I think this might be a nice lesson for us all to heed. I know I seldom see all that is ahead of me. My life as a whole is much like the interior design that I struggle so hard to envision, or the stairs that, though now complete, were once a rough and imperfect idea. I think maybe that’s exactly as it should be. We don’t get all the answers or all the pieces, but often we do get a single piece. It is often in taking care of that one small thing that we know to do, that we find what’s just around the corner.
That, I think, is a little truth that will keep me walking even when the road ahead is pretty dark. If I keep moving, eventually I’ll be able to see clearly.