The Wisdom of Roland

The sun shone through the needles of the large pine in Roland's backyard, catching the sawdust that had been stirred by a slight breeze. The breeze was refreshing to Roland, who closed his eyes for a brief pause to enjoy it. His afternoon had been spent hard at work. Tools of various sizes and uses lay strewn about in a sort of organized mess; the kind that arises when one is in a fit of inspired creation. Shavings and dust had been flying, and nothing short of a good-sized natural disaster would have distracted Roland.

The breeze, though, succeeded where a hurricane might not have. Roland smiled.

He'd been struck this morning with an idea: an ornate box for Gertie that would be a perfect birthday present. It was small and simple in shape from the outside, but had compartments inside for her set of paints and tools. She had a hobby of taking one of Roland's projects and finishing it in just the right way as to make it truly magnificent, using just her array of brushes and filigree tools. It was never gaudy; instead, it was rather like magic how even the simplest of her flourishes could finally make the physical object match with the image in Roland’s head of how the thing should look.

Roland was a bit of a magician himself, or so people suspected when they first saw a chest like the one he was making now – but really, he reflected, it was quite simple how, with a few little hinges here, a few little folding lids there, suddenly (and with no arcane hand-waving whatsoever) a small little box could hold far more than it might appear to. Roland’s smile grew a little wider.
Ah, the things one would do for Love.

Dog sauntered up from where he’d been relaxing on the back porch. He enjoyed watching Roland’s flurry of activity and counterbalanced it with his own lazy sun-napping doggy ways. Roland gave him the pat on the head and scratch behind the ears that had been the object of Dog’s approach. “Sorry, Dog, I’ll play with you a little later - I should get some more work in before Gertie gets back from her hike.”

The box was almost finished, now. It seemed silly to call such a painstakingly hand-carved, smooth-sanded, precision-action contraption a “box,” but there you have it, thought Roland. Gertie would add her touch even to this box, he figured, and then it would really be complete.

It had been a good day. He hadn’t sold anything, and no new clients had come by; he’d forgotten to have lunch, and managed to hit his thumb with a mallet; but Roland still smiled. He’d spent the morning and evening with Gertie, played with Dog (after being reminded a couple more times), and the box was wrapped up and all set for the birthday tomorrow. No free man could ask for more from any one day.

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