I enjoy, maybe even have some passion for, wood and paddle making. One of the many beauties of woodworking is the degree to which it absorbs all of your senses. It’s really cool. At least for me it is. The radio is on in the background, the cedar (or redwood and walnut in the picture above) smells awesome and the hand plane is making these neat little sounds. Bit by bit the shaft comes into the shape I want, time passes, and I am absorbed in what goes on in front of me with hand and tool and wood. For me, there’s nothing else like it. Exercise, reading, even paddling, all come up short in comparison to the sheer multi sense pleasure tickle that hand tools and a piece of wood give me.
So next time the TV is on and yet you’re bored, or your home from work, the lawn does not need mowing and it’s still warm out, have a go with the stack of wood in your garage and the spokeshave that’s calling your name and patiently waiting to tickle. I think you’ll find your brain goes on auto-pilot and you are absorbed in the sheer pleasure of creating something by hand. Your hand.