My Grandfather’s Passion
I wonder what he envisioned when he held the untouched block of wood in his hands.
I wonder if his creation came to him in one moment or did it develop over time as he prepared and carved the wood.
I wonder how his eyes would have appraised the progress and noticed anything that needed some extra care.
I wonder at how his hands would have held the wood and turned it and applied the tools and correct pressure and motions to reveal the figure bit by bit.
I wonder at how he felt as he anticipated the joy it would bring me to behold his gift.
I wonder at the hours he spent carving and shaping and smoothing and painting.
And I wonder and feel thankful for the love he put into all of it.
I pulled this wood-carved figure down from the shelf that it stands on to have a good look at it again.
My husband’s and my wedding anniversary is coming up next week, and this carved figure was a present in honour of our wedding day over 30 years ago, presented to us by my grandmother and grandfather on our honeymoon visit to see them in Germany.
My grandfather was self-taught at wood carving, and I know he had such a passion for it, as he carved many beautiful pieces over the years. His skills may appear rough compared to more highly trained wood carvers, but in our family we appreciated all the work and joy he put into each piece.
Whenever I would go for visits to their place, in every room I would see a diverse array of his artwork, including a big and detailed head board for my grandparents bed. He also lovingly carved an appropriate sized “stone” that rests at the head of their gravesite, which he made when my grandmother died before him.
Do you wonder why this long-robed man carries a key?
The answer lies with the good wish that came inscribed at the bottom of this wooden figure.
My grandfather initialed and dated this wooden figure, along with the message, which translated means, “Our dear Ela, for her wedding and for the future the key to happiness.”
And he signed it “Vati,” my endearment for him.