Meaning of Brightwork
Brightwork is the term used to describe the wood trim on a sailing vessel. The types of wood used for the brightwork are usually those with high naturally-occurring oil content such as teak or mahogany. The oils help keep the timber from rotting despite getting constantly wet. As the brightwork is exposed to sun, wind and storms, the color of the wood begins to bleach over time and soon resembles a worn-down fence post along some forgotten road.
Ship captains typically took pride in how the brightwork looked and, before varnish and other protectants came along, sailors would sit for hours and rub the brightwork with their sleeves or other rags to bring the oils back to the surface thus restoring the wood to its natural color and shine. The transforming effects of this hand polishing from bleached and dull to dark and gleaming are nothing short of dramatic. As an interesting side note, as the brightwork bleaches and gets restored over the years, unique patterns begin to emerge in the wood that increase its beauty and make it more desirable.
We think that the same principles apply to people and we see that same dramatic transformation in those who, after being exposed to the storms of life, receive love and care. Unique life patterns emerge and they shine more beautifully than ever before.
We strive to be an instrument to effect this kind of change in people. All of our actions here at Brightwork Cottage are based on this philosophy.