The weekend started as I thrashed at the ground on a sunny Saturday morning. I didn’t much like that sort of work but there was something timeless about digging holes to start a project. This was the beginning of a two-story entrance porch tower. A tower that strives to climb up into the trees begins with the search for a solid footing.
At the home improvement store I stacked, paid for and loaded bags of concrete into my truck. I felt my truck after empty rush hour commutes was happy in the sunshine loaded down with bags of concrete. It was doing what it was built to do. It’s good when we live as we were intended.
On the job site I lugged bags of concrete up the hill, heaved them into the mixer, gashed them open, mixed the concrete with water, and poured it into the ground. Concrete never seems to fill as much area as you think it will. But it’s best not to dwell on that. It’s better to go get another bag of concrete.
Estimating the amount of concrete needed is a volume calculation but it never seems to work for me. Complex numbers aren’t as helpful as we believe. Ancient man had three numbers, one, two, and many. When it comes to bags of concrete I find ancient numbers more useful.
The job would take many bags of concrete, that’s all I really needed to know. After the work, if I cared to count, I would then know it took seventy-three bags of concrete to build the foundation. Confronting that fact first thing in the morning would just be a downer.
It was slow, dirty, exhausting work. I often questioned why I was doing it. Why not pay someone else to do this thankless work that will mostly disappear into the earth. It was the weekend a time when most sane people relax after a weeks work. But I choose to spend the weekend pouring concrete. What the hell is wrong with me?
Sunday evening as my pleasantly exhausted body melts into a chair and a glass of wine I know my time was well spent. We have a foundation that in the morning will be as solid as rock. I will stand upon it as I leave for work and delight in the knowledge that we made something lasting. Reaching for the stars is only possible with a good foundation.
One day my wife and I will sip morning coffee up in the trees with the squirrels. The tiny grin on my face will be the only clue that below us is a good foundation.