The Zen of Stacking Wood

There is so much to do on the 18.96 that I often don’t know where to start. I met with my father-in-law yesterday, as he offered to cut up a lot of the downed trees and limbs that are laying throughout the property. My initial thought was to cut down the trunks laying across the path leading back to where the house will be, but when I got there he had started a small pile in the front section as he was waiting for me. (The pic to the left shows the beginning pile plus a row or two that I added.)

The previous owners cleared about an acre in the front portion of the property, which is the only open space on the land; all of the rest is heavily wooded. The ‘cleared’ space is thick with brush, weeds, sticker bushes and logs. Cleared is in quotations for a reason – there is much to do to get it into a workable state. ‘Cleared’ simply means it is an open area, not wooded like the rest. This area is essentially where the farm will be. We started and ended there yesterday. There were so many logs down it took us over three hours to cut them up and stack the wood. Have you ever stacked wood? For three hours? Try it sometime. It’s fun. Really. Really fun.

My father-in-law ran the chainsaw. I stacked the wood.

IMG_4964Because the brush is so thick even in the ‘cleared’ space, stacking wood was much harder, however. Simply walking through grass is one thing. Carrying wood while picking up your feet so you don’t trip is another. THINK: ALL BODY WORKOUT, Biggest Loser Outdoor Edition.

Ultimately I’m pretty positive and like natural workouts like these. To me, they are a lot more interesting than going to the gym. Plus they serve a purpose – I’m a multi-tasker at heart. In fact, I got into a groove of wood stacking that felt zen-like. I was also thankful for the help. I am not used to hard labor regularly but I think it will happen more often as we continue to settle. Working a farm is not like working at a desk. I am definitely appreciative of those who do that type of work every day. I noticed that I felt like I wanted it to go quickly at first, but after seeing my pile grow, I just wanted to keep working.

Like Thic Nhat Hahn says, “when washing dishes, wash the dishes.” I say, “when stacking wood, stack wood.” Be all there. 

It felt good . . . until last night when everything was stiff and tight and I could’ve fallen asleep eating dinner.

Tomorrow’s tasks consist of renting a brush mower and getting rid of all of the thick brush that is in the ‘clearing’ and putting up Private Property signs. My parents are coming to help with that. I’m excited to see that section cleared so we can move forward and start planning the layout of the garden, barn and ‘farm.’ More to come, and a massage in my future . . .