August 27, 2012
When the walls are finally framed, up, squared and plumb a feeling settles in on the jobsite. Everyone knows they are experiencing something old and new. Walls still have the smell of freshly cut lumber, and folk are nursing newly busted thumbs and fingers—thumbs have a blue tinge that anywhere other than underneath a thumbnail might be thought of as pretty, newly embedded splinters, and new cuts that when washed that evening will have to start healing all over again. Yet for all the damage, everyone looks at a set of walls and knows they are part of something very very old.
For as long as any of us can remember, including our collective ancient memory, having shelter matters, and being able to create that shelter matters even more. Looking at walls—wood, stone, or hide—have always instilled a since of wellbeing, for shelter from wind, rain, snow, or sun, means survival. We may not all be carpenters, but somewhere deep in every one of us is knowledge we must have shelter and it is from such knowledge a feeling wells up when we see walls rising up out of the earth.
The new wall feeling is enhanced when we know our shelter is confirmed and these walls will give protection to one of our neighbors. Such caring of neighbor and the corresponding feeling of wellbeing probably has something to do with why some folk can tell stories about participating with their parents and their grandparents in a barn raising or a home build. If you feel it is time for you or you and your children or you and your parents to begin a legacy of helping neighbors obtain a home, come out to White Swan, Washington over Labor Day weekend and help build a home for a single father and daughter—your presence is welcomed! (Contact David at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.)