As the old story goes…three little pigs built three houses. One made of straw, one made of sticks, and the other made of brick. Each little pig hoped theirs would be strong enough to survive the big bad wolf. While pigs one and two were eager to finish their homes so they could run off to play; the third little pig worked intently all day placing each brick carefully. By nightfall, when it was time to retire for the evening, the three little pigs waddled off to their beds and the safety of their newly built homes. The first little pig, in his straw house, had a magical day frollicking in the mud and the muck. The second little pig had an equally glorious day chasing butterflies in the grass and napping under the oak tree. The third little pig was exhausted and he could barely oink. His back was sore and his arms ached. And yet, in his heart, the third little pig felt an overwhelming sense of joy and accomplishment at what he created.
Unfortunately there was a hungry wolf hiding just beyond the shadows. By sunrise only one home and one little pig remained. The third little piggy emerged from his peaceful slumber tucked securely inside his house of bricks to find the straw house completely destroyed. It had been blown apart and scattered across the yard. The house made of sticks, with its poor foundation, had collapsed into a pile of debris. A note on the door read “I huffed and puffed all night long but, alas, I could not blow your brick house down.”
The moral of the story is simple…hard work pays off. Moreover, the moral of this story is that bricklayers are badder than even the baddest of big bad wolves. Craftsmen and tradesmen, or tradesperson for the non-gender identifying, don’t get enough credit for their skills. While each specialty has a defining quality, the uniqueness that is Masonry is unparalleled. Now before the roofers, electricians, plumbers and alike come after me just remember this article is an opinion piece. You are all valued in your respective field.
Here at Anthologie Soap Co. we talk a lot about art and life and where the two intersect and congregate. Take a look at architecture for example. The Washington Monument, the Coliseum in Rome, the Taj Mahal, the great Pyramids of Egypt are all examples of architectural masonry. It is also of no coincidence that each example has stood the test of time. Much like the structures they build, bricklayers are artisans within their craft. Do not let the rough hands fool you. Masons are a breed of laborer like no other. They are brilliant and creative with an eye for detail. Whenever we travel or tour a new city I am always annoyed, oops I mean amazed, at how my bricklayer husband can spot an out of place brick, uneven joints, or any other number of things that I am rarely paying attention to.
My bricklayer is an artist. He has built schools where children can grow. He has built churches where spirit can grow. He has built patios for parties, fireplaces to keep warm on a winter’s day, and a herringbone backsplash in his wife’s kitchen just to make her happy. Most importantly, he has artfully crafted the place we call home. It’s the place where our adult children know they can always return to, where our grandchildren love to visit, and where everybody can feel safe to be who they are. Yes we are grateful for our bricklayer, our third little piggy, for all his hard work and for keeping the wolves away.
Happy Birthday Mike!!