Did you know that firewood with smaller rings burns longer? Or was it hotter?
I learned this the other today from a person I’ll call The Wood Goddess or Goddess Of The Wood.
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 can’t be substituted. Warming a house with a stove or fireplace is a ritual.
The ambiance soothes the soul and draws people around at gatherings. A hot stove dries socks and gloves and beckons pets to doze close .
Fire can mean survival and a good supply of fuel means security.
Last year we hauled our electric chainsaw and about two-hundred feet of extension cord down the hill behind our RV to where three large trees lay.
The thirty-foot trip, wading through five feet of snow in blizzard-like conditions might as well have been an expedition to Antarctica. We bucked the timber then cussed our way back up the nearly vertical slope with the rounds. That was the worst part: the second was splitting. Third; hauling it to 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.
Not this year. We found The Goddess Of The Wood in the local classifieds after having decided we’d could live without being self-sufficient in all things.
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.
She pulled up yesterday with her roundish canine companion Cocoa riding shotgun. Cocoa ambled off to find the best vantage point from which to keep watch while The Goddess set to work. She explained that his figure was due to snacks handed out by family members.
I was impressed as 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.
She has been selling firewood for about three years after some health issues threatened her sense of happiness. She was previously a nurse but found the switch in vocations to be life changing.
The woods can heal the body and spirit, I believe.
After she threw the last round, we said our goodbyes as she boosted her rotund partner into the truck and off they went. As she drove away I found myself wondering if there is a deity of wood stacking.