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Tossing Pebbles in the Stream

This blog is my place to sit and toss pebbles into the stream. The stream of Life relentlessly passing before us. We can affect it little. For the most part I just watch it passing and follow the flow. Occasionally, I need to comment on its passing, tossing a pebble at it to enjoy the ripple affect upon Life's surface.

Monday, September 02, 2013

                             Wood Meditation

It is time to get the firewood done.  No it is past time. I should have done it in the Spring.  I had good intentions all summer to get at it but as usual I procrastinated. For the first time, I did not cut the trees down and haul the wood out of the bush.  My neighbour who used to help me with it, using his skidder had a family tragedy and has not been around much lately. His youngest son (age 25) committed suicide. Just a few years ago his other son died in a car accident. Since then his brother who was just a year older than him died unexpectedly who watching a NASCAR race in Bristol, Tennessee. Sometimes I wonder just how much tragedy and grief some people have to endure.. I had hoped to reconnect with him and cut some wood together but it has not worked out.

I purchased some logs from another neighbour who is a small jobber cutting logs and selling the wood off crown land, under contract.  Below is the pile of wood he delivered.  He tells me it will measure out to between 17 and 20 face cord when I cut spite and pile it.  I shall see when I finish the work. I will pile it outside until November so it can cure some more and then I will move it into the basement (la cave, en français) I love the French word, it is so much more descriptive of what an unfinished basement is.


I enjoy to fire wood. It is a form of meditation for me. It is a solitary activity, with the buzz of the chain saw and the silence interrupted by the chopping of the blocks.  In the piling of the wood there is a satisfaction in seeing the results of your efforts grow into elegant pile of well stacked wood four feet high and 16 inches wide. This is an art form, which I have never managed to accomplish. Before I am through I will have at least part of one of my pile fall over in need of a re-piling.  I doubt it I will ever be skilled at this art form. I so admire the neat piles of some neighbours who have spend their life time doing  fire wood.  Still while my piles stand I admire them as if they were perfect..

I meditate while doing wood. There are time when one is in a trance state doing it.  I enjoy the physicality of splitting wood with a maul. This I do do with some skill. To split blocks of wood one must study the wood and discover the lines it will best split along.. A knowledge of the type of wood is required. My load has birch, poplar and ash. This is the first time I have spit ash but I expect it will be relatively easy as ash has very straight grain.

This task will occupy me over next couple of weeks., or longer if I do not tire too quickly.


At 9:45 p.m., Blogger Anvilcloud said...

Impressive for your age. I couldn't do it.

At 10:21 a.m., Blogger Sissy said...

Splitting firewood - I remember all the aspects of my woodstove life. Miss it but it broke my body also. Your pile of trees gave me a good feeling though - wishing I could jump in and help you.

Small world - Bristol, TN is 21 mile away. The traffic is mind blowing when race weekends arrive. There was a race just recently. The NOISE! Shatters the atmosphere. Bristol Speedway - the biggest moneymaker around this area.

At 11:24 a.m., Blogger possum said...

Wow. I feel for your neighbor. I lost all my loved ones in a 2 1/2 year period. I still feel slightly lost but force myself to stay active to keep the shadows at bay.
I copied your post and sent it to my 83 yr old uncle in Ohio. He talks frequently about cutting wood, the smell and comfort in burning it, the pleasure it gives him.
I find myself wishing I had the strength to cut and split wood... or even carry it in the house to burn. But after having to do that one winter after a major ice storm, I had my fireplace converted to gas logs. I don't dare run the risk of trying to bring in wood in the dead of winter and having my muscles freeze up and not be able to get back inside. It is bad enough having that happen in the summer and having to wait 20 minutes until the muscles unlock.
Enjoyed your post... I remember your piles of wood from years past. I thought of Dave... you must miss him.
I have a few gum trees that need to come down when it gets cold. Wish I could share the wood with you!

At 1:36 p.m., Blogger Owen Gray said...

And I have stopped doing it, too, Philip. You have my admiration.


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