For decades, it has been your partner in the enterprise. Like you, it has its scars. After you've split a day's worth of fuel for next winter-- this winter's fuel is long ready-- you clean yourself up for the evening and though you wipe the axe clear, maybe sharpen it for tomorrow, it still bears the marks of plunges into the hard grains of oak, hickory, ironwood, as you do, but visibly. There is a price, after all; you can see it in the iron, feel it in the bone.
It looked so lonely, sitting there, my old friend, worn companion of so many labors, uncomplaining bearer of all those years of strenuous effort that we'd shared.
Nonetheless it had held up well, the old camphorwood splitting stump, from what I could see of it through the car window, just the top of it sticking up through the conquering weeds in the rain as we pulled into the drive. It was a lifetime away from me now...
At that moment the inanimate stump seemed like an old friend, I knew it so well. It was where I'd sweated and sworn, busted my jeans, got hit by a wedge, dodged the axe, wore out years of muscle and bone, rolled the stump under the plum tree in Spring, to work in the shade...
I knew it would wait there forever, that gnarly old trunk, it would wait through sun and rain, through winters, and I'd never be coming back to swing that heavy axe, watch the fragrant woodpile grow-- imagine feeling heartache over a splitting stump.
You feel the true values at the pinpoints of life.