I enjoy chopping wood. No hidden metaphor there, I actually enjoy the act of slicing bits of dead tree into more easily burnable pieced by swiftly brining a sharpened wedge of metal down upon it. After a couple of minutes ‘at the chop’, I reach a zen-like state. All that exists is the block, the axe and the piece of wood. Then, following a moment of sudden violence, the wood becomes two. I clear the debris from the field, line up the new victim and reset the moment.
Add to this the satisfaction of having a well-stocked woodpile. Maybe it’s the autism coming to the surface again but the same pleasure centre that fires when I order my bookshelves or write “top 10” lists, gets hit when I build a woodpile. Separating the wood by type (easy burning pine from the slower but hotter burning macrocarpa), then by size and finally stacking it so that you have easy access to any given slice. No matter what emergency strikes, you know that under the house or behind the shed there’s enough fuel to handle the situation.
I’m not about to plan a career move that would necessitate me relocating to the wilds of British Columbia and I don’t think Jason Wynyard has anything to be scared of but I can certainly think of worse ways to spend an afternoon.
Note - Oh by the way: British Columbia? I’m imagining a bunch of drug Tzars, wearing 3-piece, pinstripe suits with bowler hats, riding down a cascading rapid astride a mighty sequoia.
* alternative titles - The Joy of Axe, I Got Wood, Who’s Motorcycle is this.