Saturday, January 25, 2014

Winter work. Felling trees for firewood

Often these winter days I hear the sound of chainsaws and the crash of falling trees around my neighbourhood. It is the season for the provident to begin the labour of making firewood that will be stacked and dried, ready for the stove that will heat our homes all next winter long. Of course, some of those chain saw sounds seem a little desperate so perhaps there are those who are making wet unseasoned firewood for this winter too. A little smugness on my part is my reward for being a forward thinker.

I was talking to a hitch hiker the other day who lives on a trimaran in Burgoyne Bay and we got to thinking how backwards the great mass of city folk really are (a favourite topic among folk out on the margins). They would look down on my passenger, living rough on an anchored boat, taking his life in his hands every time he rows his dinghy ashore or back again through wind and wave, but our point is that that the further one lives off the grid the better skills, the more care and organization one needs. He too heats with wood, cut from beach logs and prepared well in advance, and his ability to survive all winter out in the cold, tossing bay depends on it. Imagine, good firewood is the key to life itself.

Today it was my turn to sharpen my saw, collect my wedges, and sledge hammer and approach the two trees I had selected some month's before. Heather stood far back, cell phone ready to call 911 if things went wrong, as I made my cuts and pounded in the wedges and finally brought my beauties crashing to the ground. Ah, such satisfaction, such a pleasant feeling of participating once more in the seasonal round of work.

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