Splitting Wood and Splintered Sunlight

This morning I sawed up a little oak that had fallen across one of our roads.  We heat our house with wood so cutting up wood is a never-ending task on our farm.  We are fortunate to have lots of woods and therefore plenty of fallen trees to keep the woodpile going.

There are a lot of things I could give up if I ever decide to become a Luddite.  But it would be hard to let go of my chainsaw.  I think even Wendell Berry uses a chainsaw.  I can’t imagine having to cut up enough wood for the winter using only an axe and a handsaw.

We heat with an outdoor boiler, so it isn’t necessary for me to split the wood or cut it stove-size.  As a friend of mine who already had a boiler told me when I was considering getting ours, “My days of splitting wood are over, and if you’re man enough to get it in the stove, it will burn.” 

I admit that I really don’t miss splitting wood.  As a kid I spent a lot of time doing that, often with a dull axe with a loose head.  Although I’m sure it helped keep me fit, pounding a wedge into a piece of wood or trying to free a stuck axe wasn’t much fun for a skinny little kid like me.

Now I just saw the tree into the largest pieces I can comfortably lift (making sure to cut plenty that Cherie can lift when I’m not here).  No more splitting and no more worrying about the pieces being too long.

Changing gears entirely, how about a beautiful poem/song from Robert Hunter and Phil Lesh to start the week?

Box of Rain

Look out of any window
any morning, any evening, any day
Maybe the sun is shining
birds are winging or
rain is falling from a heavy sky –
What do you want me to do,
to do for you to see you through?
this is all a dream we dreamed
one afternoon long ago

Walk out of any doorway
feel your way, feel your way
like the day before
Maybe you’ll find direction
around some corner
where it’s been waiting to meet you –
What do you want me to do,
to watch for you while you’re sleeping?
Well please don’t be surprised
when you find me dreaming too

Look into any eyes
you find by you, you can see
clear through to another day
I know it’s been seen before
through other eyes on other days
while going home —
What do you want me to do,
to do for you to see you through?
It’s all a dream we dreamed
one afternoon long ago

Walk into splintered sunlight
Inch your way through dead dreams
to another land
Maybe you’re tired and broken
Your tongue is twisted
with words half spoken
and thoughts unclear
What do you want me to do
to do for you to see you through?
A box of rain will ease the pain
and love will see you through

Just a box of rain –
wind and water –
Believe it if you need it,
if you don’t just pass it on
Sun and shower –
Wind and rain –
in and out the window
like a moth before a flame

It’s just a box of rain
I don’t know who put it there
Believe it if you need it
or leave it if you dare
But it’s just a box of rain
or a ribbon for your hair
Such a long long time to be gone
and a short time to be there

Love Wins