Something familiar to this city boy, the smells and energy of mountain life, as I ready our dwelling for the onset of winter. Something remembered from a past life, perhaps. These past few days, covered waist down in sawdust, chain saw at idle and a pile of fresh cut logs about me. It feels right. In the cool mountain breeze, the sweat of my efforts was marked only by the number of wheelbarrow loads I could haul back to the woodpile, where my secondhand axe awaited the next step, to ready the stack of firewood for our small wood stove.
My lady love, a mountain woman these past 35 yrs, has long acclimated to this life. “The propane truck won’t traverse our steep unpaved road when winter sets in”, she warned. Though new to life above 7,000 ft. I know snow on the hillside can falling 4 ft. overnight. This past month I could tell the wood stove is used often, for taking the chill off winter nights, boiling a fine kettle of herbal teas or cooking up her yummy vegetarian stew.
Eager though she is eager to take the saw has she has so many winters, she humors me and allow me a way to earn my keep. As an artist, working wood is nothing new, cutting boards to build a house has been part of my history. Familar sounds, saws spinning, wood falling. Now here, with Colorado soil beneath my nails, pine and aspen chips in my hair, life is good. I smile and take pleasure seeing wood piled high and wide as cold winds blow through my valley.