Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Fall burnings

My life seems to revolve around fire right now.

Every morning, when we take the feed truck down to the sheep pasture, we stop in the middle pasture and gather enough fire wood to heat the workshop for the day, or the night, as the days are still pretty comfortable. We always plan to cut and stack wood over the summer, but we are always too busy doing what needs to be done then. Summer is our busiest season. So now we take the time to wander the wood and collect fuel for the fire.

And then there is the whole process of keeping the fire going overnight. Really, any more, it's just a system of starting and then banking it and remembering to go out in the cold and check it one more time before going to bed. Keeping the fire in our evening awareness.We have left summer, when the world has its own heat, and now us humans are having to create our own warmth.
We have also developed a cross between a pit barbeque and a bath tub smoker. We are smoking a lot of meat to share with friends and so this strange contraption is demanding a good bit of fuel. Like the stove in the shop, it is a matter of learning to work with the fire, feeding it, banking it, controlling it. Taking the time to learn how to coax it to just the right temperature to smoke a succulent roast. Kind of like learning how to feed, nourish and dampen our own passions. Taking the time to know and understand the uses and the best ways for them to fuel our lives.

An then there is the burning - getting things cleaned up - clearing the weeds, leaves, ditches and old stuff from last year. I spent yesterday burning weeds off of the fencelines and piles of debris in the compound area. I spent the same time reflecting on the last year, cleaning, clearing and sorting the debris in my brain. Some of that needs to be cleaned out and burned, too! And as life indoors reflects the natural cycle of real life out-of-doors, we are cleaning up the office, the shop and the bookkeeping part of the business. Clearing out the old year to make room for the new.

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