The leaf dies falling brown tumbling spinning, rolling round, round and I watch each one by one and my mind shudders as the wind bites cold in currents from the North across the tossed sea.
Again I brace my back against the swell of freezing air and foot against the now dead tree. My saw cuts with quickness and my hands now pained by the frost’s bite shine ruddy and swollen before the winter yet on its way.
The frozen wood yields to my saw’s teeth as each slicing cut severs the limbs that then roll to my feet. Three owls call back and forth tonight as I work ahead of the cold front due in in two hours time. There’s gas in the pipelines and electricity coursing through conduits of copper, but they defy a man’s right to work and gather and energise his being with the vibrancy of struggle and sweat of reality and blood, sweat, yes, and even tears at times.
I file the teeth of my saw once more. New steel appears and shines flat in the rising moonlight. Soon I must go home with my load. The snakes I once guarded against are not my fight here in the quiet of my homeland. As I load up with logs and limbs for the birdhouses and waste for the fire I remember the times of logging in other climes. The hundreds of trees I cut for wood to work with and create my ideas from. I am grateful for the ranch lands and vast acres of wildness I once lived in the thick of. It shaped me and moulded me and gave me good and bad memories of rattlers and bobcats, javelina and wild Russian boar. I’m grateful for the friends I made and those that passed. I remember times with Jimmy and Ruth Simons and Ann and Ted Sandford when we all got together on Friday nights to share special fellowship time in homes along the canyon. Roy and Maryanne Glascock from Faith Ranch and those many more who may not even remember me now. Funny, looking back. Life was simpler it’s true, but the thing I remember most about these people and that life is that we all had a faith in God that somehow stayed all obstacles and opposition. It was that that we had that I found sadly lacking in my return to the comfort of our cultured European world. Ever think about God? I do.