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Thursday, July 10, 2014

Branches of us

On one  blustery Afognak afternoon, Patrick took several of the kids on a hike to explore and work on developing a hunting trail to use in the fall. As Patrick left with trail blazing machete in hand, he took a look at the small wood pile and said, "When I get back, I'll need to saw wood because rain is moving in tonight or tomorrow."

Fortunately, we had 2 saws at camp. One for Erica and one for myself. Away Erica and I went on the wood-silently cursing the occasional knots which would slow our progress. As well as  large pieces where it felt as though the saw would never go through.  But then the saw would reach the final wood fibers, and and the thunk of the wood hitting the ground was oh so satisfying.

I wanted Patrick to be impressed with a big stack of wood upon his return. Not just slightly pleased, but impressed with the fruits of our labor.

Erica and I talked. Sawed more wood.  Rested. Sipped on a drink. Talked some more.  Sipped some more on a drink. We talked about our kids and school. Shared acquaintances, and many pauses  as  we would focus on our sawing. For nearly 2 hours we conquered the stack of long driftwood logs which were set aside for our wood stove to burn.

The bulk of the pieces were a gorgeous cedar and we relished in the sweet smell of the wood. It is a hard, solid wood which burns hot.

Basket-full  by basket-full, our stack of finished wood inside the edge of the mossy tent floor grew.  And my understanding and appreciation of Erica grew and grew as I learned about the various jobs she held, places she lived, how she and her husband met. I learned that she went to graduate school in Australia and had been proposed to on Fossil Beach  in Kodiak.  

When Patrick returned he was pleased with the large stack of neatly arranged wood on the floor of the cook tent. He didn't have to saw more wood that night.

Sawing wood not only fuels the fire,
but warms the soul and body.


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