My daily ritual and a little story

There is something very satisfying and grounding about a task that repeats itself on a daily basis, especially during the cold and damp winter months, for me it is getting a supply of fire-wood from the garden shed.  Though it might seem a very menial chore, it is no chore at all, on the contrary I am finding it and made it into a daily ritual.

My sleeveless coat, my hat and my wellingtons are ready at the backdoor, and while I trail through our at the moment water saturated garden, I check on our winter vegetables and on the fine young plants some being herbs but also next summer’s wild flowers. This is always a pleasure and my curiosity is aroused as to anything new or changed.

 In these testing days of the last 18 months it is a solace to find something that both calms one down and also excites the senses, we have to make do with whatever is at hand. And for me collecting my fire-wood from the garden shed is one such activity. I love the feel of the wood, I enjoy the patterns of the different type of bark, the musty smell, and the visible rings where the pieces were cut.

Cleaning out the ashes and lighting the stove is part of the ritual. As I scope the ashes carefully into a bag I make sure that there are no sparks left alive and shining bright red – sometimes this happens.  Putting the light to the kindle is always a nice feeling, especially when I light the fire while dusk is falling outside and I know that soon the room will be illuminated by the dancing flames giving off a beautiful glow and making us feel warm. Fire is one of the four classical elements in Greek philosophy. The combination of wood and fire literally soothes the mind and feeds the soul.

A nice little story that I would like to share is that a few days ago along with the wood, as for once I had just brought the bag inside and emptied it out in the basket, a tiny little shrew appeared in our living room. It was so delicate and beautiful, I caught it in my hands and it felt so soft. I went and put it back into the garden-shed hoping that it will live.

the little shrew

A nice warm space where I spend winter evenings with Ian

I hope that you are all well my dear friends and followers. Wishing cosy and warm evenings and days to you all.

21 thoughts on “My daily ritual and a little story

  1. Thank you for the warming story and lovely photos. I love the Silver love spoon over the fireplace. Thank you for hanging that up. I thought it would be lying in its box in a draw somewhere. I also like the picture of the shrew. It is amazing how such tiny animals survive the cold of the winter. I did not know much about them and so had to look it up.

    In terms of population size, it is probably the most successful mammal family, with a typical population of a few shrews per forest acre, adding up to an order of magnitude of 100 billion shrews in the world! that is a wonder in itself. The other thing I was surprised to find is that they don’t hibernate but may go into a kind of Torpor in the winter. The one in your picture is a Eurasian Shrew. Apparently Shrews need to consume 200 to 300% of their body weight in food each day in order to survive!!
    Look after yourselves and enjoy that lovely fire.
    Colin

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    1. Thank you so much dear Colin, I do appreciate that you look up information and this is fascinating fact about the shrew, I love them too, so fragile but I would say so strong too! About the beautiful silver spoon above the mantlepiece… we are very fond of it, your silver work is beautiful and for us this spoon makes the the mantelpiece, it is a great focus point and is perfect there!

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  2. Oh zo Mooi tanteke, het is nu nog gezelliger dan dat het sowieso al was ! Stefanie & ik wensen jij & Ian gezellige , mooie, zachte en lieve zalige kerst & feestdagen toe ! Ik verlang om nog eens bij u te mogen eten ook want het is altijd allemaal zo lekker xxx Veel Liefs xxx

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    1. En daar mag je zeker en vast op rekenen David, en dan feesten we he! Ik ga jullie iets Irish sturen na het nieuwjaar en we danken jullie voor je pakje dat je bij Tjorven liet voor ons xxxxx

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  3. Snug and cosy is the way I like to spend winter… your room looks like lovely place to sit by the fire and read or do little projects. Having a meditative exercise routine of gathering wood is grounding with a thought of pleasurable warmth at the end. Cute little shrew you rescued… I bet he was sleeping soundly and was surprised to find himself in your house!

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    1. Thank you Eliza, yes the shrew was a lovely experience. My brother-in-law Colin looked up some information about the shrew, he found that it is Eurasian Shrew. He added some more interesting information which I think I will add to my post later. My sister also told me that apparently shrews are becoming extinct! Thank you for your kind comment.

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  4. hey zusje wat heb je dat weer zo mooi beschreven! Ik hou van je attitude! Hopelijk kan ik in de lente komen… Geniet van je vuur inside and out…

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    1. Dank ook voor je aanmoedigende woorden Chantal. Weet je, gewoon van dit neer te schrijven… woorden die al dagen, al weken in mijn hoofd rond slingerende, dat heeft mezelf ook veel deugd gedaan.

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  5. Beautiful as always Mum! I’m curious to know where that little shrew came from…I think I may know where its relatives are πŸ˜„
    I can agree with that ritual of lighting the stove and the smell of the firewood, and the cosiness, so important in these deepest darkest days of winter.
    And lastly, your Christmas tree most certainly shines out a beacon of light πŸŽ„πŸ€©β€

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    1. Thank you Tjorven, that is so exciting about the shrew… do you have a nest in the wood shed maybe? Aunty Meave told me that shrews are on the extinction list, do you know anything about that? I will check that out. Oh dear I hope my little shrew survives in our garden shed. Much love.

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  6. That shrew is so cute, I hope he is OK after his unexpected adventure! And your fire looks really welcoming and cosy in that Christmassy room. I love to look for images in the flames and I am sure I see a face in that final photo, looking out at me!

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    1. Thank you Sarah! And as long as it is a friendly face it is good. I got a bit worried about our shrew as I released into our gardenshed, but then there are so many insects and butterflies in there. I only just found out that shrews feed on insects and slugs and so on… luckily our garden shed has a few holes that are large enough for the shrew to get out and be free to forage.

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