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Writing Ruminations

Writing is such an internal process. Why not make those private ruminations public? This is how stories take shape and grow.

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Location: Happy Valley, Oregon, United States

I've been supporting myself as a writer for many years and am watching the changes in the publishing world with fascination. For me, sharing the craft, teaching, is as creatively satisfying as the writing process itself.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Wood Season

Katrina and Rita have come and gone and the face of the Gulf coast has changed. I have never visited New Orleans. Too late, now, one of those 'do it while you can' lessons, I guess. Now it will be Old New Orleans, a myth of the past to measure whatever we rebuild there against. But life moves on and the media looks away to the next story.

It is wood season, my favorite time of year, a period, for me, of reflection and contemplation for some reason. Fall is closing in fast now and the winter solstice isn’t all that far away, as the every earlier dusk reminds me. I split and hauled about a cord of wood this past two days, a fir that came down a couple of years ago in a fall Pacific storm. The dogs love wood season. We take the truck down into the dusty shade and fat spiders of the wood lot and they play tug of war with roots and fallen maple limbs and bark and dig and lie panting in the dirt while I cut up fallen limbs and logs and split them and stack them in the truck and then they precede the truck in triumph as we drive up to the wood shed. Then they lounge and supervise while I stack all this harvested sunlight stored in lignin. I love firewood. It is a harvest of summer’s warmth, of thousands of sunny days…at least in those old firs and maples. And in December it will give up its sunlight and warm my house and the dogs will lie in front of the woodstove on their sides and dream of summer.

Maybe that's what makes me reflective this time of year. You look both back at the summer just past and forward to the winter, and while my muscles are busy I have plenty of time to think.


Blogger Kami said...

Hey, Mary! Good to see you blogging again!

This reminds me of how much fun my sister and I would have when we went to get firewood as a two-family group with my great aunt and great uncle. My folks would get a license the prior day, and come home with a U-Haul trailer that we'd hitch to the Cordoba. We'd wind up those uncertain roads before dawn into the mountains to an abandoned clearcut marked on a photocopy of a hand-drawn map, the men would get out the chainsaws at first daylight, and the women and children would collect the rounds and stack them in the U-Hauls. At lunch we'd break and we'd always have the same lunch--hot tea from a thermos, a ham and cheese sandwich with mustard, mayo and sliced home-canned pickles, home made potato salad that had been wrapped in newspaper inside a small cooler to stay cold. The men would have a beer with lunch. And then we'd keep working until two big trailers were full of rounds. My sister and I spent more time climbing on giant stumps, chasing frogs and exploring tiny streams than loading after lunch. Then we would fall asleep on blankets stuck with splinters on the way home.
So I'm right there with the dogs. Firewood season is *fun*.


11:35 AM  

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