Winter mornings in the Welsh Lakes district were usually very quiet and pieceful. Bright snow was still undisturbed by busy pawprints and the sound of an early songbird cheerfully greeted the morning sun. So you can imagine Bill Beaver’s surprise when he got up, stretched his legs and stepped outside – just to find a violin lying on the frozen lake.
Who had put it there? He took a closer look at it. It was an amazing piece of craftmansship, something he had never seen before in his short beaver life. The curvatures of the instrument’s body were perfect and the wood was absolutely smooth and shiny. It was a stunning piece and he had to admit to himself that even his best woodworking efforts looked like something the wind had ripped off a tree in a rough night.
On every other morning he would have walked into the forests after a big breakfast, he would have chopped down trees over trees and transported the wood down to his dam and he would have whistled while putting it all together. Instead he hopped into his little boat and pondered about his life. And believe me, there is nothing more depressing than the sight of a depressed beaver!
“Why should I even bother to finish this dam? I am a rubbish builder. I bet it will fall apart if only a rain cloud looks at it. My father always was proud of the long line of great dam builders in my family. He reminded me every day how important it was to know everything about your wood – I don’t even like wood! And really, I hate dam building! I am a complete failure.”
He sighed deeply and looked at the violin again. And then a thought occurred to him. Slowly he walked over to the wooden instrument and carefully held the violin in his one hand, the bow in his other hand. And then the first notes filled the cold winter air and Bill Beaver knew that this was his real calling.
When life throws violins at you, make music.
The Space between the Trees by AM Radio: Welsh Lakes
Beaver avatar by Grendel’s Children.
Violin with music-playing bow by Poco a Poco.