Why is this so arduous, I wonder. All I have to do is assemble a few sticks of wood and blot them with white paint, but I feel like I’m making a cross for my own execution. Already I’ve carried out a tablet full of aims and a forest of pine lath. I want this to be aright.”I’d like a white treillage,” was your humble request. “Something for a background at my wedding. Sarah Parkes will cover it with ivy. It will be beautiful, Daddy, a symbol of life. ”
I was glad you asked me to make the treillage because I wanted to have aside in the wedding. Seems like men are generally in the way at such affairs -like chess pieces standing around, waiting to be “laid. ” The groom himself would never be missed if he didn’t show. They would just stand a cardboard cut down in his place and no one would be the wiser.
Weddings are of women, by women and for women. But with this treillage,! can have a part of the action.If I can ever get it made.
‘ve made far harder things for you, like that compound cradle for your doll, and that two-story doll’s house with handmade trappings. And your desk, with all the bloomers.But this trellis!
Kneel one the terrace I carefully weave the pine slats into a hachure, and a design slowly comes forth. As I work, I ponder the way your life has woven itself into mine, and I wonder what I will be like without Natalie around the house.Can we unweave twenty-one years of sharing? Can a father bring out his daughter without coming a little unraveled himself?
It’s not that I do not want you to marry. I do. When your ambitions come true, so do mine. Flat is such a good choice. A gentle, handsome man, as committed to you as your parents. “Nat and Matt” sounds right, like a little poem.I can barely see to drive these tiny aces. Allergies probably. Or perhaps it’s the cool April breeze that keeps fogging my eyes. Or the smart aroma of pine wood.
They will stand this trellis up on the arrange at church. My job is to take you by the arm and gently lead you down the aisle to the trellis. Another man will help you up the next step of life. I’ll sit there stoically with your mother, watching you adopt someone new. Your sister will sing your favorite songs. Your grandfathers will perform the ceremony. And God will come down to bless the brotherhood. Your mother has it all coordinated.
All I have to do is finish this simple trellis.
When the conjoining is over, they will fold this ivy arbor and jostle it into a dark storeroom, where it will be forever forgotten. But memories of my little girl will vine themselves through the arbor of my heart for the rest of my years.
I stand the treillage up against the service department and slather it with bride-white paint – this fragrant veneer that addresses the old, broken tree with beauty and promise.
Painted, the trellis looks like two alabaster gates. Gates that lead to a future I may never see, if you move far away. Out there on the long road of daily living, who knows what will happen? There will be long days filled with sweet monotony. Bright bits of joy. And boring hours of sorrow. I wish for you the full spectrum of life.
I rub the cloying blusher from my fingers with a rag that wont to be your favorite T-shirt. Then I stay away to assess my work.
Without the ivy it appears so empty and lonely.
It is after all, just a simple trellis.