Friday, May 22, 2009

Zen and the Art of Woodstacking

It's spring here in the middle of nowhere but we're already getting deliveries of firewood for next winter. So far I've stacked three. Two more to go.

I don't even want to guess at how many pieces of wood I've moved. All I know is that I've chosen, lifted, fitted and stacked enough chunks to give me a little bit of insight into the fine art of firewood stacking.

Turns out that stacking firewood gives the wood stacker a lot of time to think.

Some random thoughts that may come in handy in the event you're faced with a pile of split logs that's higher and heavier than the vehicle you drive...

First impression is that this stack of wood is bigger than you are, that there's no way in the world you'll ever be able to move it yourself. Relax. It is bigger than you are. And there is a way for you to move it all.

At this point you may want to give up. Don't. A lot of things in life are intimidating when first viewed. That doesn't mean you should throw your hands up and walk away.

As with so many other things, the secret to successful woodstacking is to simply begin stacking. The only way to guarantee you'll fail at something is to not tackle the job. Start stacking. Before you know it, you'll see progress.

By now your body may begin to protest. You may want to give up. Don't. Challenge yourself. You're stronger than you think.

No two pieces of firewood are exactly alike. They're all different. Don't assume that because they're all split logs they're identical. They're not. Appreciate the similarities, certainly. But cultivate insight, and you'll soon see each part of the whole has its own uniqueness.

You might be tired of picking up wood by now. You may not give a rip about similarities and differences. You may want to give up. Don't. You've invested too much to let the job get the best of you. Find the courage to continue to your goal. You'll be happy you did.

Eventually the stack will look like this. There will be bits and pieces scattered about that you might be tempted to rake up and toss away. Don't do it. Not yet. There may be something in the leftovers that may prove useful. And even if there isn't, you deserve to sit back and smile at the spot for a while.

As you wipe your brow and arch your aching back, you might want to vow never to stack firewood again. Don't. Just because the task was tough, pushed you to your limits and made you dig in your heels doesn't mean you should never attempt it again.

The aches and pains, and the bruises where you were hit by sliding chunks? They're badges of honor, a testament to your inner strength.

Life isn't always easy. Often you'll break a nail or crush a toe. That doesn't mean you should turn away from a challenge.


Dru said...

What would you find in the remnants of wood?

Good for you for completing this task. It does sound like fun especially the way you wrote it.

Would I stack firewoods? Yes, I would have to give it a try.

Have a great holiday weekend? Do you have any plans?

Sue W. said...

Leave it to you to find serenity in stacking wood! I don't think I would be able to do anything more than stack a few pieces at most. That looks like a hard job.

Mary said...

I can't imagine piling all that wood. You go girl!

Happy Memorial day weekend!

Melissa McClone said...

Now that would be a workout!

Marianne Arkins said...

Wow... how long did that take you?

and ugh ... don't remind me -- not only will I have to stack wood this year but we cut our own, so I'm going to have to help SPLIT it. Three cords. With a maul. By hand. Dear heavens.

I'm tired just thinking about it.