I don’t know who built the rustic shed in our backyard — but thank you.
I do know that before the Preacher and I bought that solid wood structure, one of both of us stood each spring (with many of my Yorkton area readers) in front of its open drop-walled side at our local Canadian Tire. Paying for our plants.
Last spring, maybe you stood in line next to me. Maybe we chatted as we waited to pay the clerk inside. Maybe we compared the flowers we had chosen — herbs and petunias for me this year. And perhaps, before we parted, clutching our pretties, we agreed that spring had taken far too long to arrive. But it had indeed arrived — in a glorious gallop. And that we couldn’t wait to reconnect with growing things.
The seven-foot square hut with the pointed cedar-shake roof served the store a long time. But one day, after the 2013 planting season, someone in authority must have decided they had no further use for said shed. A few its shakes had flown. Several siding boards had rotted. It needed repainting. It didn’t match the relocated store’s sleek new look. Up went the signs: FOR SALE $250.
When the Preacher and I headed toward the store’s doors a few weeks ago, the little building squatted awkwardly beside two fancy plastic sheds, $999 and $699, if I recall. It looked like it belonged at home. It looked like ours. Minutes later it was.
Exiting the store, I ripped off one FOR SALE sign. “Shed,” I said, “you’re coming to our house.”
Our congenial can-do neighbor fetched the shed home on the back of his flat-bed trailer. It cruised down the highway at 30km/hr, standing upright as a toy soldier. When a few boards blew off, Brady stopped and picked them up. Today it stands exactly where I’d pictured it — between the stump garden and the line of spruce trees separating our yard from the empty lot next door. Its door and front opening face green, nothing but green.
The collection of good honest lumber will have a new life now. The Preacher has fixed the roof. I’ve painted it Poinsettia Red — it seemed appropriate, somehow. In winter it will shelter our summer furniture. In fair weather, the grandbeans will use it as a playhouse. When they’re not, it will serve as a rare quiet place for those who need one. To reflect. To think. To create. To storm heaven for a dying civilization in a world gone mad.
For though it would make a charming lemonade stand, the red shed has retired from the world of commerce. It will most certainly rot one day, but not before it lives a thousand happy moments, and not before scores of prayers have exited its pointed roof and nested in God’s own heart.
If you built that shed… thank you.