Simple work


My mind was whirring with all the stuff I had to do and remember. Running behind in all kinds of important things I really didn’t have the time to go out and stack firewood! Although I generally love working outside, I felt like I simply couldn’t afford losing time like that, what with a few deadlines coming up next week. But then I went out anyway. Just for a little while, I thought to myself. First I had a hard time picking up where I left off last time. Also, a lot of the pieces were very crooked and hard to place to make a stable built. But soon I found my way into this simple work again. Every piece of firewood has its very own shape and weight, although all of them are supposed to have roughly the same length. Some fit here, some better there. And only some are suited to build the corners. I love how all those pieces make such a beautiful stack. I love this simple work. I love feeling, seeing and finding just the right place for an especially twisted log. The rhythm of this simple and quiet work makes it possible for my mind to settle down and unwind. I listen to the wind, the melting snow dripping from the roofs. A few early spring birds tweet. Nobody is talking to me or demanding from me. I don’t particularly think of anything special, but my mind starts coming up with new ideas and solutions to all kinds of things. Just like that.

And when all the logs are stacked, I am physically tired, but mentally refreshed and excited to go inside, make myself a cup of coffee and start tackling my more complicated tasks that I am now so well prepared for…by going outside and doing some really simple work.




I have found that sorting makes valuable. A perfect example are, again, stones. Once I heard a guy referring to the area we live in as “one big heap of stones”- and it was not meant to be a compliment! It is painfully true, though. There seems more rock and stones than soil. Wherever you want to dig, do groundwork, build foundations, plant trees or a garden, there are rocks. Of all sizes. Some too huge to be moved by normal machinery, millions of small ones that need to be picked up in order to make your vegetable garden manageable. And all the sizes in between. Stones seem frustrating and quite worthless, and they tend to appear in places you don’t want them to be. But once you go through picking them up, loading them in your wheelbarrow, pushing your load to an assigned area, all the while sorting them roughly by size…you somehow experience that those worthless objects start forming into a treasure: raw material. And you realize that on the one hand, stones seem to be everywhere you don’t need them, but you also have a need for stones- everywhere! Be it simply filling holes in your bumpy yard or road, supporting different constructions, stabilizing fence posts, framing flower beds, to only name a few. Over the centuries, the most beautiful landscape architecture has been created by simply picking up stones from the fields and building stone walls with them. I kind of feel rich, owning lots of stones of different sizes. Whenever we need some, or a certain size, I know that I will find the perfect one- in the sorted heap of stones we own!