I think often of the cyclical nature of life; it’s a common theme on this blog. This week, one of our seasonal cycles came rather sharply into focus, as I near the end of this season’s firewood gathering.
It came as I hiked to the far end of the property to collect the last pack load of firewood from a rick I’d filled earlier in the year (see Coming into the Woodwork). Little by little, I’d carried the wood to the cabin on my back, adding it to our coming winter’s wood in the shed. It’s very dry, light weight and will burn beautifully.
Retrieving the last load qualifies as an ending point, a moment to pause, reflect, and celebrate a job well done.
But not quite.
I carried a bow saw with me to the pile, and as soon as I’d lashed the load to my back board, I turned to fell the next standing dead tree in the area. I had good weather for wood work, so I felt it made sense to fell and buck a few more trees before taking the load home. By the end of the day, the pile of new wood may have been bigger than the original pile.
I can’t lose here. The new wood, while not dry, is old; even this late in a wet firewood season there’s a chance it’ll dry in a month or less. If we need it this winter, we’ll have it. If we don’t need it, we’ve got a great start on the next year’s firewood. Jobs like this one can’t be treated as a one shot deal, they’re an ongoing project as the seasons cycle ’round and ’round again.