Sunday, January 24, 2010


Out in the colding late afternoon air, the mood of snow looming on the shoulders of the mountains, I’m loading up another wheelbarrow with firewood so we’ll have some nice warm nights, my work filling the air with the ringing music of well-dried sunlight.

That golden orb up there does have a direct connection with music as played on a marimba, a crude one, much like the first one ever made-- in this firewoody fashion, I suspect, the different lengths and thicknesses of the wood making a basic kind of music to the ear that has to do with heat, the music of solid sunlight, it’s a song about warmth and contentment (they go hand in hand), with lyrics about being beside a warm stove. (Whose fuel you had a part in creating!)

Which reminds me of my discovery in re the difficulty I’ve always had in describing the basic pleasure of a wood stove, saying to centrally and otherly heated folks that a wood heater is the most wonderful warmth to stand next to, its not like standing before any other heater-- electric ones get too hot, burn your clothes, fossil fuel ones are too thermostatty and vaguely dissipated, with their fluxy ventrush of god-its-hot-in-hereness; a straight up fire itself, as in the woods, is too focusedly hot, burn your clothes like an electric heater and so on, I just could never describe the way in which it was soulfully pleasant to be beside a woodstove, as winter guests of ours find when they gravitate toward the stove and stand or eventually lie down there with smiles on their faces, sometimes even saying Oooh this feels so good I don’t want to go home...

It’s not like dipping into an onsen either… I finally realized what it was-- of course! It's like being chilled with winter cold and suddenly being able to stand in strong summer sunlight: that deep, ancient, bone-warming comfort that our unending selves know so well as a kind of mother love. For what is radiating from that stove is sunlight, coming to life again after living through trees, then turning into the music that is playing even now, as I work into the darkness.


Anu said...

You proved that nature is more useful than made by us things.Good to read your blog.its refreshing.

Anonymous said...

Oh, warm down to the bone, wood stoves are. Not just that superficial warmth artificial heating seems to attain.

I was reading this entry yesturday morning, while my son was resetting the furnace that had gone out over night... wishing I still had the old Franklin, non-airtight, just perfect anyway, stove. There was only one drawback to it. Friends that had four wheel drive would come over during storms to stay warm, only to be greeted by a cat here, and there and, well, everywhere. They tend to gravitate to the best seats in the house, which would inevitably lead to "How many cats do you have, anyway?"

It truly wasn't that much, back then before the farm, I swear. Four. Four really large cats. The smallest weighed fourteen pounds. It just looked like a lot.

One could find the same situation here, substituting electric heaters, one could at least, until the weather took a drasctic turn, winds are still gusting in excess of 50 mph, and we havn't had power for nearly 10 hours...

I am on the last of all battery power, yet, a big yellow truck went by a while ago and things are begining to flicker. Yay.

I was on the last candle for my emergency, coffee can covered in foil, mini-emergency heater!


Shirley Dockerill said...

wondering what the view is like from your mountainside?

Anonymous said...

Sometimes what it feels like is jst better, an old chipped English teacup full of hot tea and an old book that has become a friend!

What we see is still gorgeous, with the exception of today, whilst our bizarre weather continues... The winds have stopped, the rains that flooded out roads and businesses are begining to subside, while the temperature, now 56 degrees, continues to rise with the front from the southwest. I now have all the windows opened to air out the place, as I am still searching for a place that sells a Zorishu air filter in the large size. There is a brook that runs through the basement... Things are getting a bit moldy smelling,,,eeek. But the town historian told me the slaves that used to reside in the basement used the brook for everything from bathing to cooking.

We are nearly at the top, but not quite, so past the four gigantic, old pine trees on the north side of the house -that tend to break the chronic wind a bit- there are the vegable fields, the next-door farmer's house off past them in the distant. Past the fields, up a slight incline, there is a large fenced in area, with a lone oak, about 40 years old sitting smack in the middle. I will hopefully solve this mystery this summer! An enormous red tailed hawk resides in the tree, hopefully eating all the mice that might want to crawl into our veh engines to chew on the wires and make homes! Continuing clockwise there is a small faded pink shed which holds old wooden bushell baskets for the peaches, and before that the split rail fenced in pond, that I need to straighten out the ph in in the spring. The barn is further right, though who knows for how much longer, I have been taking pictures of its gradual demise. Directly to the south is another of the three ponds, where the welcome strangers skate, when it snows and one listens to classical music it would appear one is living in a Courier and Ives scene. This is and old town, and the stranngers dress classiclly in furry jackets and Fair Isle knitted caps, scarves and mittens! Its wonderful when they stay late, build a fire to sit around and have hot chocolate.

And its delightful to meet ya'all!