Have you ever watched a storm ensue? Bashing and hurtling nature around, showing its prowess and strength, only for the sun to peak through the darkened clouds. The rays caressing the earth as it greets the world, flowers dance in admiration, waving lazy hellos. Amongst all of this stands a tree, rooted deeply, its branches extending out in an embrace. The solid structure, weathered and wise. This is Craig Walker.
It’s not hard to imagine a young Craig merrily playing with a hand carved box car, the wobble of the wheels as it hurtles over the floor boards. Woodwork is a love that was ingrained in him, the heritage passed down from his dad. The irony of the master now being trained by the student, as his father graciously works by his side to ensure the growth of CSL Manufacturing. The Woodsman has an ease about him. Crafting pieces with care, his focus is attentive as he works. Accuracy and speed aid him as a man who is well versed in this industry, the touch of an artisan breathing life into a lifeless block of fallen tree.
His 5 o’clock shadow doesn’t mar the glimmer in his eyes and boisterous voice as he answers his phone, the white of his knuckles showing as he grips the rugged case and quickly attends to business, a smile creeps upon his face and he steels his focus at the tasks waiting for him.
With an employ of 11 staff, Craig’s dream has grown, from a spontaneous trip to England leading him to spend 10 years in the country, his business of sash windows had put him in good stead. The arrival of his now 7-year-old twins brought him back home. The family orientated man has no regrets, and revels in bringing his children up in an environment that he is accustomed to. Newly acquiring land, the expansion of the CSL factory is on the cards, machinery is constantly being purchased and a man who is not only wise, and for all intents and purposes, a wise cracker, has a practicality that sees a streamlining of processes, proof of a sharp mind, that is eager to move forward, even whilst being firmly rooted.
The report that is held with his staff echoes the values of a man who is entrenched in the DNA of family, and of friendships that match that. Beyond the hardened hands, the relaxed attire and laid back aura, is a jovial man. Whose silence and outbursts all tell a story. Written deeply by trials and shaped by desire, Craig Walker is the love carved in the bark of an ageing oak, displayed for all to see, all it takes is a glance to discover the heart of a Woodsman.
Written for SHF by Keanon D
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