Doing wood with my dad today...

Wood and my Dad

There are some special pastimes
that wake the boy in me,
but few can touch the unique thrill
of cutting down a tree.

It starts with mixing up the fuel
and sharpening the saw,
oiling up the bar and chain
just like I did with pa.

"Get the tractor filled with fuel
then go and get the wagon,
Don't forget our leather gloves
and water when we're draggin'."

I still can hear by father's voice
giving these reminders,
for I was just a little boy
with adolescent blinders.

In time I didn't need his words,
the prep was second nature,
the woods became my habitat
almost my second culture.

With that we'd promptly hit the trail
that led into the wild,
Evoking almost everything
that stimulates a child.

My dad would spot the perfect tree
that needed to be felled,
he'd notch it out and cut with care
and all our plans just gelled.

The tree would crash onto the ground
falling in the clearing,
And every time dad cried, "Timber",
I'd find myself just cheering.

Smiling from ear to ear
and backing up the tractor,
I'd hook the chain around the log
Becoming the extractor.

I'd lift the drawbar nice and high
to keep it off the ground,
and just like that I'd pull it out,
the power was profound.

Some logs were probably a ton
a yet our little Ford
would make light work of most of 'em
acting almost bored.

The smell of earth mixed with exhaust
was etched into my mind
and to this day when I catch that whiff
my soul becomes aligned.

It isn't long before it's time
to cut the wood to pieces,
filling up the wagon high,
here's where my soul releases.

I can't tell you how it feels
to see your labor's fruit,
As piles of wood accumulate
the joy is absolute.

The more we get the more I want
addiction setting in,
I'll gladly beat my body up
to feel this kind of 'win'.

And then comes time to split it up
and stack it in the shed,
to get it dried before the cold
bears down with winter's dread.

And this is where my dad comes in,
at least in my mind's eye,
remembering the joy I brought
him as his little guy.

It was the woods where I felt closest
to my father's heart,
the place where everything made sense
and nothing was apart.

Connection that I can't explain,
a synergy bone-deep
was felt, i think, by both of us
some nights it makes me weep.

And that's what brings me to today,
and to this reverie,
my father's coming to my house
to relive this memory.

We're splitting wood out on my lot,
of this I'm truly glad,
returning to my roots again
and working with my dad.


Popular Posts