Last night we were watching a TV news report on a nondescript village known for its expertise in churning out rolling pins. The first recorded use of that simple kitchen tool as per historians was some 2500 years ago by a little known civilisation in Italy, the Etruscans. A basic device found in every home-kitchen, it is also a design that hasn’t changed much over the millennia. The report was an absorbing watch not just for the effortless ease of their skill but even more for the simple dignity of the worker as he explained the task with a pride that only comes when you love what you do. It reminded me of the words of that poem by H.W. Longfellow~ “The Village Blacksmith” Life is not always about a dance of the extraordinary but a swaying to the poetic rhythm of the ordinary…
“Under a spreading chestnut-tree
The village smithy stands;
The smith, a mighty man is he,
With large and sinewy hands;
…His brow is wet with honest sweat,
He earns whate’er he can,
And he looks the whole world in the face,
for he owes not any man.
Onward through life he goes;
Each morning sees some task begin,
Each evening sees it close;
Something attempted, something done,
Has earned a nights repose.
Thanks, thanks to thee, my worthy friend,
For the lesson thou hast taught!
Thus at the flaming forge of life
Our fortunes must be wrought;
Thus on its sounding anvil shaped
Each burning deed and thought…”