June 22, 2009

Work of the Hands

Great ideas originate in the muscles. — Thomas Edison

Sometimes the secret to freedom is in the work of the hands.

Cook. Construct. Sew. Draw. Write. Strum.

Or build a cat house. Which is what I spent this weekend doing. My wife, you see, fosters kittens for the local SPCA. With eight cats of our own in a small house, the logistics involved with caring for potentially a dozen or so mewling, hungry kittens called for a different solution.

So I sketched out a design for a shelter that would fit into our one-car garage and offer comfortable accommodations to the horde.

Mind you, I am no carpenter. So I called my friend and fellow musician Marty for help. Saturday we drove to the lumber store, picked up the materials we needed, and returned to my house.

Construction time.

My weeks have been full and hectic lately. I had really wanted to kick back with a good book and relax as the first days of summer came to visit. But in building the shelter I rediscovered the great pleasure and relaxation that comes from work of the hands.

The result? My wife has a sturdy 6 x 8 cat shelter for her wayward kitties. And I found peace and satisfaction in the work of my hands.

When your weeks fill up and there seems no end to busy-ness, make time to ground yourself by putting your hands to good use. Find a simple project, do it, and watch how the process soothes your soul!

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