Did you know that firewood with smaller rings, burns longer or was it hotter?
I learned one or the other today from a person I shall call The Wood Goddess or Goddess Of The Wood – take your pick.
She visited us as we were in need of her magic after a lean season last year.
Winters are cold here and a fireplace warms a space like no man-made heat source can. The sound of crackling, the smell of fresh cut logs, the way the heat radiates; there’s no substitute.
Burning wood is a wintertime ritual. Here’s a poem I wrote about gathering wood: Wood Gathering: A Poem.
A hot stove or fire soothes the soul. It’s draws people around at gatherings. It dries soaked socks and gloves and beckons pets to lie down in it’s glow. A good supply of fuel means security.
Last year we didn’t purchase a load from one of the many local purveyors. Instead, we hauled our electric chainsaw and about two-hundred feet of extension cord down the hill to where three large trees lay, and harvested our own timber.
We waded through five feet of snow in blizzard-like conditions to buck the timber then swore our way back up the nearly vertical slope with the rounds. That was the worst part. Second was the splitting. Third, the hauling into the RV.
Fourth? Getting the damned fire started with wet wood.
It took a lot of patience and an assortment of tools. A propane torch, bacon grease, maybe some candle wax, some skill, and a lot of patience – especially at three in the morning, freezing cold, in a robe.
This year The Goddess Of The Wood paid us a visit! She doesn’t leave anything under your pillow but who wants splinters in their bed anyway? This supernatural-like figure brings the gift of ambiance upon request and now we can eliminate steps one, two and half of four.
When the cold temperatures arrived this fall, my husband and I agreed we’d had enough of the self-sufficiency thing so we looked around and found some wood for sale. I’d made arrangements for the delivery by message so I was surprised to see a woman pull up. Another tomboy like myself, I thought!
Her roundish canine companion, who rode shotgun jumped out to tour the property while she unloaded. Cocoa happily ambled off to find the best vantage point from which to keep watch. The Goddess explained that his figure was a result of his love of the occasional snack at home.
We chatted as she worked and The Goddess told me how she and her daughter make forays into the national forest where they fell trees, buck the logs, and split them on the spot so the wood is ready for delivery. That’s hard work and I was impressed by these women.
She has been selling firewood for about three years after some health issues threatened her sense of happiness as things like that do. She was previously a nurse but found the switch in vocations to be life changing if I remember her story correctly.
The woods can do wonders for the soul and for healing, I believe.
After she threw the last round, we said our goodbyes as she boosted the somewhat rotund Cocoa into the truck and off they went – presumably home before their next trip into the forest where she will work her magic for someone else.
As she drove away I found myself wondering if there is a deity of wood stacking.
Thank you again to The Wood Goddess. We shall see you in a couple of months.