Wednesdays with Words: Leisurely, carefully, painstakingly

With Uncle Sandor and the sheperds to help him, there was very little for Father to do. One morning he brought in his woodworking tools. “We need some new chairs, Mother,” he said. Jancsi helped him find well-seasoned, dry maple planks in the woodshed. Uncle Sandor shook his head and smiled. “So you still make your own furniture! I don’t see how you have patience for it when you can buy furniture so cheaply now.”

Father grunted. “Glued and nailed factory rubbish. I want furniture we can use, not rickety stuff like that. Besides I have nothing else to do now, shall I twiddle my thumbs and look at the snow?” He measured and cut out seats and backs, rungs and legs, for future chairs.

Uncle Sandor looked on for a while. Then he grew restless. Suddenly he exclaimed: “I haven’t had an honest tool in my hands since I left for the city. Got a spare saw Brother?” 

Father laughed. “I knew you couldn’t resist it, Sandor, there isn’t a man who can resist the song of the saw.” 

Soon Uncle Sandor was working humming and whistling to himself. Evenings the shepherds helped, too. One by one the rough pieces were planed and whittled, smoothed and rubbed down. Leisurely, carefully, painstakingly, they worked until each piece fitted the other perfectly. Then they were fastened together with wooden dowels.

Father threw himself on the first complete chair with all his weight. “Built for a lifetime!” he exclaimed with satisfaction.

When I came upon this passage in The Good Master the word “leisurely” stood out to me. He is taking careful time and care to build. He isn’t shoving together or tacking together with insufficient materials, rather doing the job in the best way he knows. No hurry.

This is what we do when we homeschool. We are to leisurely, carefully, painstakingly study and teach and learn with our students. We are to practice schole and fit the pieces together.

My review of The Good Master will publish tonight (or you can see it at GoodReads, now).


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