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