It’s about every other day that I bring in wood. It’s been warm so we’re not using so much. Most of what we’re burning comes for the farm. Logs from the maple, apple and birch tree that came down in the past couple of years.
It’s good dry wood, and each time I pull a piece out I think of the tree it came from.
The birch has taught me how birch bark is even better for starting fires than newspaper. Jet fuel, I think each time I set a match to bark and it burns so hot it ignites the kindling in an instant.
That birch bark is also beautiful, in a way it seems wrong to burn it.
This morning I found a snake skin curled around a piece of birch bark. The textures were so various and the colors so compatible, I had to take a picture. Then I put it in the window wrapped around a birch branch that I kept putting aside, because I couldn’t bare to put it in the wood stove. It’s has legs and a body this birch branch, too human to burn.
Then, this evening Sue texted a picture of one of her students with a Christmas Tree made from the same birch tree. When that big branch came down last December, I cut up the smaller twigs, filled up four or five paper bags and we brought them to Bishop Gibbons.
Now Sue’s students are making those branches into art.
I’ve beginning to think of our old Paper Birch as the giving tree.