We embrace the seasonal routine of chopping wood.
With this fundamental chore, Tim & I have common ground. The mutality of Man & Woman coming together in the ancient relationship to fire.
We live in a somewhat remote mountain valley which offers up extremes in climate. It requires a certain resilience and robustness which hones our instincts for survival.
It requires sharpening not only our axe but our skill of wood gathering while rekindling a passion for this simple, and ancient way of living.
Wood gathering and preperation for Winter makes us stronger not just physically but in the way it demands a state of pure presence. Conjured by repetition of hard work, qualities required to process a winters worth of wood. In our case about 14 cubic metres.
All frustrations melt into each piece split, a sense of ease with every cubic metre chopped and stacked the reward of physical work for works sake.
As a child vivid recollections of chainsaws and willow trees, the smell of sap, and scent of fresh wood, memories that will linger a lifetime. Bouts of shouting & cursing as a knotty log gets the best of the chainsaw or axe. In the end there was no way that it had a chance against dogged determination and effort.
We here in New Zealand although seasoned wood gathers still have much to learn from our Scandanavian friends for whom it is one of the most crucial of all tasks. As the record holders of wood consumption, (who new there was such a thing) for them it is the difference between being frozen or warm. They have mastered the art of wood in ways that we are now turning to. Not only in their methods for foresting wood as a renewable energy source but in the way they have come to logistically measure & calculate the demanding nature of processing firewood and thus determine the most efficient ways to chop, dry & stack it.
We will continue to gleen wisdom from the Scandanavian and Nordic woodsmen, to dive a little deeper into the art of collecting, chopping and stacking wood. It would be wonderful to think that in the not so distant future, folk will invest into eco-forestry methods, as forestry management solutions that will not poison & deplete landscapes. Solutions that will truly honour the magnificent tree.