There is not a single cloud in the sky and the air is crisp and clean after a long night of rain. The building are glowing gold in the sunlight. I can smell a bit of fall in the air. It is not far off, now.
A. and I worked part of the weekend getting the firewood ready for the winter, but took breaks to watch the Wyoming/Texas game on Saturday and the Vikings on Sunday. There was more lounging around this weekend than we originally planned. There is still much work to be done to be ready for winter.
It is work that I enjoy, even if it is hard enough labor to make me sweat and ache. It just feels, I don't know, honest, to labor over the felled trees. It makes me appreciate all of the resources and energy - and not just my own - that goes into keeping me and my family warm throughout the winter. Hell, it is not just keeping us warm. We have weeks at a time where the temperature does not reach 0 degrees. These trees are ensuring we survive the winter.
The primal nature of this chore gets into my head, my muscles, my bones.
In a small way, I was disappointed that A. and I did not get a deer last fall when we went hunting together. True, I was anxious as all hell to be around when he killed an animal. I did not know how I would handle it. I am sure there would have been much blubbering and snotty blowing of my nose. But, I knew how I wanted to handle at least one aspect of it.
I want to be present at the moment of harvest. I want to kneel next to that neigbhor of mine and say a prayer of thanks, of gratitude. I want to voice my inteniton to God, to the Universe, to use this animal's life for good. That the energy and life that this animal has given to me will be invested in doing good for all my neighbors, human and non-human. That this animal will fuel my actions throughout the next year, and out of respect for this animal's life I will try my best to live an honest life. A life that contributes to the world. A life lived in an effort to to take for granted that my days on this earth are sustained by the death of others. That there is a balance out there; death fueling life, whether it animal deaths or the deaths of plants, of microorganisms, whatever. That I try to respect that balance in how I live my life.
I guess I hope that by voicing my prayer it will serve as a reminder of how I want to live my life.
It is much easier to understand the energy, the life, the deaths, that go into my survival, my life, through the handling of the firewood and the animals.