Saturday, April 13, 2013

Wood Day

Wednesday was Wood Day, the day the wood arrived. I love Wood Day. The Wood Man backs his truck into the driveway, tips it up so the flap at the back opens, and some wood slides out. It smells amazing. It's all sharp and fresh and clean. Then the Wood Man eases his truck forward, and with the weight of wood piling up in the truck the flap opens more, and now the wood just pours out like a libation. The wood has arrived! And we get to stack it. We have a routine  - I barrow it and my husband the Archduke Piccolo stacks it. Barrowing requires a bit more grunt perhaps but stacking requires more brains. Wednesday was fine and calm and the perfect day for wood.

Wednesday is Woden's day of course and so I felt moved to give thanks to the old boreal Gods of my ancestors. I presume Woden is the God of Wood. Woden sounds, well, wooden, and there is a nice story told by one of the Grimm brothers about how the very last of the harvest in parts of Germany is for Woden's use. Woden is a psychopomp in the Anglo Saxon pagan faith, and his relationship with the dead seems suitable for the arrival of the wood that will see us through the winter.

So I say:

Thank you old forest Gods, thank you father Woden, for this amazing wood which you have spread on my driveway like a blessing. Thank you for the forests that grew it. Thank you for giving us an understanding of wood and its ways, for this connection, however oblique, with the natural world, and our heritage so far away in the northern forests. I acknowledge now the hope that the wood gives us, for our survival through the darkness of Winter, and the eventual return of the Sun. Wood tells us we have a future here.

And the wood, now stacked, has magically become the Wood Pile. It  develops its own folkloric ecosystem. Maybe mice and centipedes and brownies live in it, as well as truly fantastic creatures. It rests under its tarpaulins in the lee of the fences, and tells us quietly about Summer, and wind, and clouds and the far sea.

1 comment:

  1. I get to be the wood man for other people. It's wonderful at this time of year to be able to help them squirrel away a nice cache of dry fuel to last them through a mercifully short northern "winter". When I think about it, a number are retired rural women living alone, so I guess I'm continuing something their husbands may have taken care of. These are people who still bottle fruit and who maintain large vege gardens.