The Joy of Splitting Wood

“We have forgotten the use of axes and saws, forgotten the joy of doing physical work. How few today know the feel of an axe as it bites into a log, the solid feel of it going into resin, the clean break of a chunk splitting in the cold. How many know how to saw – that one must not ride the saw on its return, only pull. These things have been forgotten along with walking, paddling and carrying loads. I discovered once again the satisfaction of laying in a supply of wood beyond my immediate needs, and a joy that came.

I swung the axe again and cut into the raw resin of a root. The grain was fine and golden yellow and, because my axe was sharp, its surface gleamed. There was embodiment of all that was elemental and afforded me, a man of the space age, a tie with the past. That root which once anchored a pine against the gales, held me to the earth.”

                                 -Sigurd Olson, Runes of the North

©Tom Gable

©Tom Gable