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Natural Timing

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I am a lucky man.

When I went to sleep two nights ago I was planning to pop out of bed early and get started on this column.

When I looked out the window yesterday morning, however, the sun was shining and I realised it was far too nice outside to spend the day staring at a computer so I got stuck into my firewood supply instead.

I should mention here that I am living in England at the moment where there are no Mophane trees.

That means if you want to make fires to heat the house you either have to spend a fortune on seasoned wood or collect, cut and split your own supply and then leave it for a year or so to dry out.

I’ve gone for the second option.

It is still the dead of winter up here in the northern hemisphere and most days are wet and cold so I jumped at the chance to get on with the cutting and splitting parts of that job while it wasn’t raining.

At this point I imagine some of you may be questioning my use of the word ‘lucky’.

Anyway, I also managed to get the timing right when I collected the logs.

I spotted them nearly two months ago while walking along a canal path.

A hardwood tree had fallen and the waterways workers had cut it up to clear the way.

When I walked the path again last month the more manageable pieces were gone but 15 or so larger 30 to 60kg logs had been left behind down a bank 20 metres from the path.

They were about one kilometre from the nearest place I could park and I knew it was going to be a battle to get them up the wet slope and along the muddy path so I didn’t rush home to collect my wheelbarrow.

I did, however, make a mental note of where next year’s firewood was resting.

Then, when we finally got four or five days in a row with little or no rain, I threw the barrow in the back of the van and set off to collect the wood.

It was freezing but the physical labour warmed me up while the cold kept me from sweating bullets and the job was a lot easier than if I’d tried to do it when the hill and path were wet.

Being aware of those things made the work quite enjoyable.

It was like the pleasure farmers and gardeners get from pulling weeds and working the soil while it is still moist from recent rains but no longer muddy and sticky.

Unfortunately the modern world is a very busy place and most people rarely have the luxury of choosing how they will spend their time.

All the same, I still think it is worth the effort to keep in touch with our instincts so we can tap into the natural satisfaction doing things at the right time can provide.

I’m not saying I do that all the time or even most of the time, but once in a while I do and that’s why I feel like a lucky man.