On my morning walk to work (my cold has dispersed sufficiently that I can go back to work: yay), I passed through the industrial area. There was a small flatbed truck pulled to the side of the road, and its driver, a small Japanese man who looked as though he was in his sixties, was carefully feeding a large pin into a metal thing on the truck’s tray (please be impressed by my grasp of technical language when it comes to the anatomy of trucks). Not an unusual sight in and of itself, especially in that area – the number of small trucks that come through the area, serving the car dealerships and the warehouses and the panel-beating workshops, is such that a truck barely attracts my attention, unless I’m crossing the road in front of it without noticing it (which, in my defence, I’ve only done once, and it was all ok because the driver noticed me before it was too near a miss).
What caught my attention this time though was the care with which the driver was feeding the pin into the thing: slowly, delicately, as though he were handling the fragility of spun glass, rather than heavy indestructible metal. He lowered the pin in so gently and with such exquisite exactness that there was not a sound of metal on metal; and then slowly, almost tenderly, he turned the pin so that it was scrupulously centre. The whole process was such that I actually stopped walking to watch, and when he had completed what was almost a meditation in movement I found myself thinking, “That was so beautiful”.
There is something quite profound in watching a person make beauty and art out of a mundane moment, but that truck driver did it, in a grimy industrial backstreet. It made me think: every single action we take should be done with that much care. Each movement of our bodies is a miracle of bio-engineering and neurological wonder; even the act of doing my washing-up, or (more pleasantly) reaching for my tea-cup, should honour the wonders of creation that we all are. And of course, in honouring our own creation, we honour the Creator.
Plus, you’re far less likely to spill stuff if you do things slowly.