Firewood Meditation

There’s something deeply satifying about chopping wood, it’s almost a meditation. With each chop I felt “at one” with axe and wood; the axe head just fell and met in exactly the spot needed to cut the wood, and the wood just fell apart. It’s a very Zen moment, or even a Jedi moment: you just “feel the Force”, let it guide you and the wood is split. I’m reminded of Chang Tzu’s Carving Up an Ox.

Even if it didn’t go as perfectly as that all the time there’s still a sense of being centred in what you’re doing, so as to cut the wood well, so as not to damage the axe and also to not cause injury to yourself or anyone around you. It is an activity that needs more care and precision than brute strength.

But even more than the activity, today I felt meditative because the seasons are changing very visibly now. After months of hot sun, clouds are returning and the days are getting shorter and colder. We’ll need firewood before long. But today I wasn’t just chopping wood, I was preparing myself for the changing seasons and honouring this change too.



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