I observed somethng quietly profound a few months ago. Years upon eons ago, it some times seems, having built a beautiful house with a beautiful mud room at the back door to catch and clean feet/people entering the house...... The mudroom for its small size has four doors into it. To be a good transition it needs a bench to sit upon to take off, put on,,, either the indoor slipper or the outdoor muddy boot,,, and it needs a good bench broad enough, long enough to utilize the above and below of it. The butt for the top and the boots, shoes, and slippers, in pairs, toes in, and lined up under the five foot length of it.
When I settled to the building of the bench, the day we moved in, I got to do something nice, simple, elegant, strong, solid poplar, thick and wide planks. I hand planed them to smoothness, cut a simple four part kit , and then pegged them together as it once was done. A solid wood bench, without a finish, just extraordinary materials, a bit of a plain furniture builders art. And immediately beneath that bench began to accumulate the varied footwear of a home. 20 years that bench served, as yet is in fine shape needing nothing but a bit of sand paper to erase the finger prints, the dirty back pockets, the faint transferred blue of jeans. And I have noticed the size of the shoes grow, as has their wearers.
At a scout meeting I heard an oft repeated cliche of, "What is to come of the world? The new generation seems not to care, not to be able. I fear the decline of tomorrows."
But I had but to look about at the scout meeting to see, and know well the falseness of that feeling. These are some very fine young men and women I work with.
No, I look under the bench today and ask not, "Who will fill my shoes when I have traveled and left the stage?" No, no, rather I look at the shoes, slippers, boots worn, mud for the mudroom, and all I can ask honestly is, " Will the shoes be big enough?"