It was early Saturday morning. “I’m going to yoga,” I said.
“Won’t you help me finish the wood?” Tim said.
“I need a good work out,” I said. The Saturday class is the hardest of the week.
“I’ll give you a good workout,” Tim said.
I stayed and worked out with wood.
He’d been working on the wood since the fall, when a load of logs was dumped on the back lawn.
Cutting and splitting it is Tim’s after work therapy: he dons his
Kevlar chaps, leather gloves, and helmet with ear and eye protection before going out with the chainsaw to slice logs into lengths that will fit into the stove. Then he hefts his 6-pound maul and splits the logs, so they’ll be dry enough to burn.
My task is to stack the split wood the following day, but I’ve been going to yoga three times a week and slacking off on the stacking. It was my turn to help.
All that was left were the gnarly pieces that defy the ax. It was for these that we bought a part share in a neighbor’s wood splitter.
It was for these stump ends and knots that Tim wanted my help. Working together, we could finish putting up the last logs in the load and be done for the year.
I changed out of my leggings and into my work boots and
jeans, pulled on leather gloves to operate the splitter, then stacked the splintered results. It’s an upper-body workout, with wood for weights. But plenty of legwork, too, as I bent my knees to lift logs off the ground and carried them over to the shed. Stacking is a waist-whittler, twisting and lifting each piece of firewood into place, doing countless reps.
I matched my work with my breath, just as in yoga: inhaling to squat and exhaling to lift.
We worked from eight in the morning until the sun beat down about one, when it became too hot to continue – and we were too beat.
The workout was my Saturday salute to the sun that helped these trees grow, trees that will release the sun’s heat once again when we burn the logs in the wood stove.