The early fall morning sky is dark and the ground slightly damp as I walk briskly towards my shop’s door. The birds are not stirring yet, and the soft glow of pale sunlight is just warming the row of trees at the brow of the hills to the east. There’s something about the early morning that I love. First, there is the promise of a brand new day with its seemingly endless possibilities. Then, of course, there is the quiet calm. The light even seems hopeful to me.
Inside, the familiar smell of wood and machinery greets me as I reach for the light switch and then head directly for the espresso machine. On the table saw bed are the neck parts I’d left at the end of the day yesterday. I’d wanted to finish them up—gluing on the “ears” of the pegheads—but time ran out. It will be my second task today—right after the coffee. It’s a job that doesn’t entail much noise, so it’s perfect for a serene autumn morning.
As the first rays of sunlight pierce the yellowing maple outside the window, I think about how the cycle of tree to instrument transpires in my hands.