Wednesday, April 07, 2004


Today while splitting firewood beneath the plum tree blooming white and fragrant to me immediately underneath (the cherry trees were also blooming, the weeping cherry was just beginning, it will be a blinding pink in a couple of days), in the midst of all that fragrance to my labors I grabbed a rough chunk of log from the varied pile, paying no attention to what wood it was, had to work to even start to split it but when I did what a fragrance filled the air, it was a 40 cm-diameter chunk of camphor sapwood. Wow.

By the time I'd gotten it quartered (camphor makes you work for its heat), I didn't have the heart to throw it on the firewood pile; instead I brought the four quarters into the house and laid them atop the cold woodstove where the sun hits it, to see what effect the wood would have on the fragrance of the house.

We then went out for a long afternoon walk up the mountain under the near-fully blossoming cherry trees that line the roads around here. When we got back a couple hours later and opened the door, having forgotten all about the camphor wood, what a perfume awaited us, a piney-lemony-minty fragrance from somewhere around heaven, with a touch of camphor. It filled the entire house and us too, the way blessings always do.

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