The last few days I have been waking up to the sound of the morning birds interlaced with the sound of hammers and tile fix slab hitting the concrete floor before the tiles are delicately laid over.
As I lie in bed listening to these echoes of sounds I can’t help but take a few moments to appreciate where I am and the thoughts that order themselves in my mind to teach me, remind me and inspire me.
Mom’s house is coming together. Albeit slowly and painfully but it’s still coming together. Dad would be proud. The last time I was home the house was simply a massive structure of cement and brick. But now, it’s taking shape – the brick walls have been plastered and skimmed and you wouldn’t tell there is brick underneath. But the bricks are surely there and each one was laid upon the other one at a time.
It boggles my mind that something as big as this house is merely a collection of individual bricks. We are so used to seeing things as whole as they appear that we often don’t appreciate the small, little pieces and facets that make up the very whole.
The metaphor of bricks, brick laying and building has been weighing heavily on my mind for the last month and it’s so beautifully ironic that now, even as I write, I’m living knee deep on a building site! It’s raw; it’s noisy; it’s invigorating. Yes, it’s inconveniencing at times but you learn so much just by watching how beauty can be created from nothing – simply by bringing bricks together…laying them one at a time.
Life and living is very much like laying bricks. You don’t get to start off with a complete life. You build it one day at a time, one thought, attitude and action laid upon another until what you have in the end is a full, lived life. This is why it’s important to pay attention to your present moment because how you lay your bricks today will affect what your life will look like tomorrow.
I think it’s an awesome blessing that each of us has the opportunity to bring whatever we can to the table and help in creating beauty out of our lives. And as you go through your life, I hope you’ll see how everything in it is connected; how every facet is weaved in together with the whole. In practice, this means that the whole of your life is only as strong as the individual elements that make it up. So, do take care how you lay your bricks.
I’ll leave you with the words of actor Will Smith who in a few sentences, exquisitely encapsulates what I have tried to articulate in paragraphs:
“Lay one brick at a time. You don’t try to build a wall – you don’t set out to build a wall. You don’t say, ‘I’m going to build the biggest, baddest, greatest wall that’s ever been built.’ You don’t start there. You say, ‘I’m going to lay this brick as perfectly as a brick can be laid.’ And you do that every single day and soon you have a wall.’