Tree Envy

Being raised right, I know all of the rules, and “Thou shall not covet” is right there at the top. In general, I do a pretty good job of minding my own business and keeping my eyes off of forbidden fruit, but sometimes a man gets weak.

Recently, my wife Mary and I went to the North Shore of Minnesota on a short weekend vacation. We’ve rented a cabin at this spot for a few years running, and it is lovely in every way. It also has a tree that’s covered (and I mean covered!) in burls. It even has extra burls on some of the branches. It’s got burls on its burls! And they are just crying out for me to turn some bowls from them. But sadly, the tree does not belong to me. And after inquiring at the resort office, it seems clear that it is unlikely to become mine anytime soon. This leaves me the option of wanting the tree badly but knowing it is not in the cards. Thou shall not covet, remember!

Rob Johnstone, Woodworker’s Journal

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