Saturday, November 28, 2009


Forget what you've heard about how "wood warms you three times." Yes, I did get a bit overheated stacking all this wood--about two cords' worth. And yes, we'll be plenty warm when we burn it (if we stand near the stove--it's a very central sort of heat).

But what really gets me fired up about burning wood is the sheer beauty of it. The way these pieces, split by my arborist neighbor from the many trees he cuts all over greater Boston, fit together to make a solid stack--like the tiles in a mosaic, in three dimensions. Their heft and hardness against my chest when I bring them in to burn. The little thrill of ignition as the kindling leaps into flame, I add a few small pieces, and the fire quickens. Even the ash, so pure and fine when I shovel it out and bag it for use in the garden later on. And the smell, drifting down the street in one direction or another, speaking to passers-by of woods and campfires and the out-of-doors, so that strangers sometimes stop to tell me, when I'm outside hauling in more logs, how glad they are for the smell of it.

Wood warms in so many ways, it would be a cold season without it.

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