Sunday, June 27, 2010
Near to Nothing
My husband is building some kind of large boat in our backyard that has a striking resemblance to Noah's Ark. At one point in time, it was someone's party barge, but now it has been disassembled, lengthened and a large steel frame has been built on top. This maiden ship already has a name on her side, "Near to Nothing." Oddly appropriate, I must say. I know there is some mathematical formula for buoyancy and I'm not sure that the weight of the steel won't top this thing over and send us all straight into the lake. It is one thing to have a hobby and work on a project. It is another to be in the backyard with steel frames, pontoons, a welding torch and pairs of animals watching on in great interest... or possibly fear. I'm unclear of exactly what the look is that the animals have, but I realize I have a similar expression on my face as I stare at this floating box. I believe it's the look of uncertainty. I had the same look when he arrived home with a horse for our daughter. Note, we have no pasture - just a large backyard. Something deep inside me said "This is never going to work." I donned that look once again when he tried to teach an injured red-tail hawk how to fly. After weeks of nursing this bird back to health, he tossed the bird into the air in hopes that it would spread its mighty wings and take flight. It did a kind of spiraling helicopter plunge straight to the ground. Deciding that height was the missing factor from this equation for success, he and the bird took to a branch in a tall tree in our front yard. The animals and I watched on with great interest wondering which one would spring forth from the limb. After a very long wait, the bird was tossed into the air, flapped its wings and made another spirally descent to the ground. This went on for weeks until one day, as my husband sat on the limb for the last time, he tossed the bird into the air and, like magic, it took flight. Our looks of uncertainty changed to expressions of amazement. To this day, a large winged bird flies low by the house in the afternoons. We believe it to be our feathered friend swooping by to say thank you. I'm not sure, but if it is an ark that we are building, I'm certain there will be a place for the hawk, the horse, and the many other critters that have found safe haven at our home over the years. I have learned to embrace my husband's projects even when they defy the odds. I may look on with uncertainty, but I never doubt that he will be successful in the end. If ever one needed to be rescued from a flood, a broken wing, or from someone else's reigns, it is this man that they would turn to.