23 July, 2012

Private Sanctuary

My paternal grandfather lived out with my grandmother in a beautiful white full-terraced house in the countryside outside of Ottawa. He had many occupations to keep his days busy; reading, gardening and woodworking being the central ones. He was a quiet man with quiet pursuits.

His woodworking shop was at the back of the house. We could access it through the kitchen. It was his private sanctuary. A place he could go to to smoke his pipe. To design and build his masterful woodwork. And, most likely, to escape the noise of visiting family.

We had to wait to be invited into the his shop, which didn't happen very often. When we were allowed to sit on one of the benches and watch him work, we did so quietly. Hoping he would forget us and let us stay forever.

Alas, we were just normal kids with persistent questions that constantly escaped out our mouths from inside our overactive brains, and our legs took to swinging and kicking the stool legs rhythmically, and we couldn't just look with our eyes, but also did so with our fingertips... eventually, grandpa would ask us quietly and gently to go outdoors to play. Which we did, but never without s slight feeling of regret.

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