Growing Firewood

One of the trees I planted in the woods this Saturday.

I’m usually in my studio when Greg comes with a truck full of fire wood and dumps it just outside the woodshed.  Fate whines at the gate  and soon Jon comes out with a check to pay Greg.  I see this all because it happens right outside my studio window.

I don’t think of the trees that the logs came from when I see the new pile of wood.

I think of how it needs to be stacked and how in four or five months we’ll be burning the logs in our stoves to keep warm.

I do think of the trees when I’m moving the wood.  When I’m stacking it in the woodshed in the spring and summer or loading it onto the cart from the shed and bringing it into the house in the fall and winter.

It’s when I’m picking up each piece of wood, seeing and feeling the bark through my gloves that I think of the tree it came from.  Sometimes, I can identify the kind of tree, but even if I can’t, I still imagine the log a part of something much bigger and alive.

Sometimes I silently thank the tree the wood came from.

Mostly I think of the tree as being harvested, like a crop.  And I imagine that with each tree Greg cuts down, someone, somewhere is cultivating more woods to be harvested twenty years from now.

That’s the story I’ve always told myself, but I have no idea if it’s actually true.

This year, when I got an invitation in the mail to join the Arbor Day Society, I opened it up instead of just using it as fire starter.

With a $25 membership I would receive 10 small trees.

I put my check in the mail and this Friday I got the plastic bag in the mail with ten Norway Spruce.

I decided that from now on, every spring I would plant  ten trees in our woods, to  replace the trees that we used that year to heat the house.

Of course we don’t burn pine in our wood stoves, so next year I’ll be sure to get some hard wood trees to plant too.

I’ve been stacking and burning wood for many years.  Now that I’m aware of it, I’m surprised it took me this long to think about replacing the trees.

It rained all weekend, so the small trees I planted have  a good chance of getting established.  And they’re close enough to the creek that I can easily bring them water during the summer.  I don’t imagine they’ll all survive, but maybe a few will.  And over the years, that will hopefully make a difference.

Our dwindling pile of firewood as I stack it in the woodshed.  Six more cords to go before winter.

3 thoughts on “Growing Firewood

  1. maria, I see you in communion with the night sky, the air, the wind and the stars. You truly are of native descent and I honor you. It is right and proper and meet that we should give thanks to the tree, and its birth to light and warm us. Thank you for this entry. Beautiful reminder.

  2. Such a beautiful way to complete the circle and thank the trees while also continuing their magic. Brilliant!

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