" A razor can't be sharpened on a piece of velvet." ~ Anonymous
A whetting wheel was a necessity in an agricultural setting. It sat on a platform and was operated by a turn handle or by a foot pedal. It played an integral part in the operation of farming in keeping farm tools sharpened. Without sharpened tools, the work was harder and longer and more dangerous. A farming man took care of his tools that were so hard to come by and had to make them last, as they were not easily replaced. He understood the principle of grinding metal on stone to hone an edge to its sharpness, to be able to best utilize the tool.
There have been times in my life, as I am sure there have been in yours, when I was tested, challenged, brought to my knees in grief and pain. Although I bargain that we have not been honed to the extent of our forefathers, life is our whetting wheel. It can serve to sharpen us and to bring out qualities in us that we never knew we owned. It is the act of putting our souls to the grinding wheel that makes us what we are. Some people recoil at the rough touch to the wheel, never receiving the full benefit of being sharpened, never knowing that what we experience in life can give us more joy and more satisfaction than never to be tested at all. But if we embrace it, we can learn to savor and appreciate all that is ours, to find bliss in the ordinary and delight in the unexpected.
"The expectations of life depend upon diligence; the mechanic that would perfect his work must first sharpen his tools."~ Confucius
I love the old stone that rests at my fireplace, its only use these days to serve as a reminder of long ago times. I only hope that I can incorporate its symbolism into my life and embrace the honing that life renders.
Life is not a piece of velvet, nor would I want it to be.