I want to enter the various cultures around me with a curious mind and a willing heart. In the past few days, I’ve been invited to experience various “cultures” whether it’s joining the swim team community, learning about the various spiritual cultures of my neighbors, or entering the college culture by watching movies students love, listening to music they download, and attending the places they go downtown.
As I thought about what it means to love people and be a good friend, this concept of entering different cultures seemed suddenly so important.
Right at that moment, my husband was leaving to go to his workshop. On his days off, he apprentices with a carpenter to learn the skills of woodworking and carpentry. (Note: Apprentice is a fantastic verb. It means to study under a master to learn the skills of a trade. Apprenticing represents a whole cultural system by which a new generation trains for a trade. I wish I could apprentice under certain mothers, teachers, and wives.)
He’s asked the family before if we want to visit his workshop. We’ve always said, “no.” We don’t have time! We aren’t interested! What would we do in a workshop? Well, not today. I want to enter that culture with a curious mind and a willing heart.
So we go.
It feels like a foreign country. He shows us big, scary machines with names like planer, jointer, miter saw, and band saw. I start asking questions. Soon, I learn that my husband can take material like these split logs:
And turn them into this.
I start feeling some flair happening. I start looking around me with new eyes. I notice some order and beauty in this place.
And I notice my children are captivated by what their father is doing. He puts safety gear on them and shows them what he can do on the machines. He takes a scrap of wood and transforms it into something smooth and square.
Right now, we are back home, and the girls are playing with their block of wood–imagining all sorts of things with it. We entered the culture of woodworking with a curious mind and a willing heart, and we had more fun than I could have ever thought possible. Living with flair means I enter the various cultures around me by being curious and willing. I apprentice and learn. I want to do it everyday.