Two Signs – Gratitude for My Elders

Today while out in my shop, I noticed again two signs which I have carried with me for years and now adorn a window sill where I can see them when I look out while working.

One was made by Paul Peachey, a mentor and friend from my time as a member of the Rolling Ridge Study Retreat Community in West Virginia, who when I arrived in 1993 was already in his 70s. To say I learned much from him would be an understatement. Before he and his wife, Ellen, left the land for the retirement community, he made the sign for me, routing it out in shaky cursive script. It is one of my precious things. Every time I look at it, I am humbled again by how he, a highly respected professor, Mennonite thinker, and author, would introduce me to his companions at VMRC as his “colleague.” That meant so much that he saw me and treated me as an equal.

The other sign was made for me by my Dad as gift to me when I was boy. It is also one of my most precious things. It too has my namesake inscibed into the wood. Which is quite significant because I am the man I am today in a large part due to my father. My carpentry skills, sensitive spirit, pastoral heart, love of people, my completely goofy sense of humor, probably even the weird way I walk, all I can trace back to my Pops.

Especially now, I am particularly thankful that my dad and I get to share and work together in this Lyndaker Inlay endeavor.

Such signs remind of who I am, where I have come from, and the many who have and continue to speak into my life.

Which makes this sign-seeing carpenter most grateful.

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