By: EarlB, 12:49 AM GMT on July 21, 2007
to be remembered by someone younger than me.
people to be respected for who they are, and not
what they have.
spring to last a few weeks longer.
to always be thankful.
to wake early.
to be aware of the world around me.
to see beauty in everything.
autumn to last a few weeks longer.
to appreciate the wonder in all.
to listen to what the wind carries to me.
summer to last a few weeks longer.
to help someone smile.
someone to call me friend.
everyone to be kind to children.
winter to last a few weeks longer.
to write letters to those I love.
to listen the voice of inspiration.
to always smile at the moon.
to never forget you.
By: EarlB, 6:45 PM GMT on July 04, 2007
I look with satisfaction and a little pride on my wood shed right now. Only
nine months ago a wind that blew hard, started the entire process of filling
the shed to nearly overflowing today. Nine months may not sound like a speedy
turnaround, indeed, if I had taken care of only the wood cutting, hauling,
splitting and stacking, I could have reached nearly the same sense of
satisfaction in one-tenth the time. In my defense, had I concentrated more on
the efficient dispatch of work as it presented itself, I wouldn't have
accomplished the many other tasks that presented themselves in parallel.
Contrary to what the concept of the soap opera may imply, life's duties
do not present themselves in serial fashion. Aside from "multiplexing" as a
reason for low productivity, I suppose that there IS procrastination (well,
enough said about that!).
My favorite part of building a woodpile has to be the splitting of the
wood. A saw cuts only the length that fits into the wood stove, the girth
remains that of the diameter of the tree: most times too big to fit into the
stove. While some immediately will turn to a hydraulic splitter, I enjoy (many
will find this amusing, I suppose) the personal contact of maul, sledge and
wedge. Think of the maul as a flying wedge, and, much wood succumbs to a well
placed, high-speed impact of a maul. It all becomes a game, a test of skill,
aim and strength. The skill is that of having the ability to discover the natural
splitting avenues (which only show up as the wood begins the drying process
while waiting around for me to get the garden planted, etc, etc). It becomes
mental therapy, too, as I argue with and cast full strength blows upon the wood
and cast full strength aspersions upon both wood and myself (as the old saying
goes, "my friends call me 'lightning', because I never strike the same spot twice").
So, there it was, the last week in June, and I was finishing up this year-
long odyssey. It was hot. I was hot. As enjoyable as the task is, it is always
more of a delight to finish. I had overcome all of the difficulties of this yearly
challenge. In the end, the job comes down to keeping yourself warm on the coldest
day, and then quenching your thirst with the coldest drink that you can find on the
warmest day, nine months later. And, as good as the wood fire's warmth feels in
January, the feeling of the cold liquid silver of an ice cube melting in your mouth
on a hot june afternoon, comes in a close second.