Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Cold is not so Bad -chop wood and feel good

The cold is not so bad. It is nice when it lessens. All the animals may have gone into hibernation but there are friendly birds around to keep you company in the deep woods. My dog sky also follows me out and wags her tail in the anticipation of an adventure.

Today I am being a woodsman. The grey and the brown and the white of the landscape is pretty in that uncolourful rustic way. It reminds me of the times when I would go from tree to tree, dipping my index in and tasting the sap that had dripped into little tin buckets hanging from the mightly maples. Today I am bonding with trees but it is a different kind of bond as I make the "crrxk! Crrcxxxxxxxk!@" sound. (That's the sound of an axe chopping through stumps and them squealing as I pull the pieces apart if they don't fly apart immediately)

Chopping wood is so gratifying. You study the blocks each individually and set them on others. It's important to look at the direction of the grains. You visually line them up with your future axe-stroke. You lift the axe over your head and bring it down with all the force you can accelerate your arms to bring. Bam! The axe sometimes goes straight through and embeds in the chopping block. Separation is equal. Both pieces fly to the side. One right one left.

Sometimes if there are knots you can't avoid them. You can chop halfway into the wood but then you have to pry it out with much difficulty. It's better just to avoid it but sometimes if you get through there are wonderful patterns to make out in the grains in your cut.

I work away in a shed as the melting snow drips from the roof. I need to remove my jacket and wipe my forehead to get the sweat. I love the smell of the wood and my sweat mixed together. It makes me feel like a man, a woodsman at that.


Blogger The Lioness said...

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4:55 p.m.  

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