Wood Worthy Wanderings

As a result of the Powwow, and all the good things that I have been trying to do for myself, this week my energy has begun to return in a more sustainable way for the first time since mom’s passing.

Man, have I been making up for lost time.

The first of three cords of wood arrived late Friday afternoon. On Saturday morning facing the task ahead, grief scowled close at hand. My shifty companion spent most of the morning offering a running commentary about my lack of ‘partnership’ in this chore, apparently enjoying the negativity that was anything but helpful. The angrier the message, the louder the wood rang out as it landed in the metal wheel-barrow.

By late afternoon having made significant progress, I had earned the right to tarp the remaining woodpile against the darkening sky, and eery yellow lighting to head inside. I was surprised to discover that although the muscles in my back were aching, there was more energy to spend. I actually felt excited as I began to make some headway on painting the old grey metal file cabinet which is now a beautiful copper color. (I had taken all the hardware off at 5 am and Magic erased them all to near mint condition)
Sunday morning I was back at work until the stacking of cord one was completed around dinnertime. 
It feels wonderful to be making some progress and seeing the house begin to come alive again as new colors re-insert themselves into my world.
Yesterday, October 8, was my parents anniversary, and I made pumpkin pancakes to celebrate and I really wasn’t all that sad.
 In fact, I felt so confident about the trending uplift, that I left a message for my wonderful wood provider, who managed to deliver the second cord Monday afternoon. I made a little progress on it this morning before it started to rain. And just to keep me from getting too cocky, here is a picture for good measure of the next big things I have to tackle. I think that will pretty much keep me busy till next weeks post.
By this morning, the emerging sense of direction that is becoming clearer has deepened. A vision of the house has revealed itself and change is apparent in every single room. Work is beginning to trickle in, as plans for an exciting new project continue to move forward. (I can hardly wait to tell you about it, just a bit longer, till it is a tad more solid). Life is becoming a bit interesting again.
There are still moments of great gulping sadness, but they are not the marathon sessions they used to be. Of course, that is not to say they never will be again, but for now grieving has moved into somewhat more reasonable serving sizes. A good friend who lost her mother just last week, said she heard it described it like this – “losing your mother is like having the earth pulled out from under your feet, while simultaneously being told to stand.” I would certainly concur.
As I lit the first fire of the season in the wood stove this morning I said prayers for my mom, molly, friends, and our family. Just when I was finishing the fire really began to take hold. While the flames grew to dance and shimmer, I was reminded of all the cozy times last year watching with delight as Mom, Molly, and Thunder all napped in front of the fire together while I moved through the house doing chores. Straining, I could almost hear the memorable sound of two dogs and one elder snoring. That sure brought a bittersweet smile to my face.
May we continue to delight in the everyday moments that connect us.

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17 Responses to Wood Worthy Wanderings

  1. Sylvie says:

    wow, look at you! did you paint???
    It’s coming back…oh yeah.

  2. Robert Vanderwaall says:

    Dear Beth, My mind always sees a campfire when I hear the word Powwow. I see you have plenty of wood for that. The sound of a snore, either human or animal, are both welcome in my world. I have always enjoyed the sounds, sights and smells of campfire wood. To me they are very comforting. You do such good work with your writings and they always help me remember and appreciate those special moments in my life. Good job.

    • Oh how I miss those snores, so comforting, the sound of life. I am glad you are enticed to those wonderful remember-ings by these words. You always help me celebrate life, even on tough days, and I am grateful for that. Always a pleasure. Keep singing. z

  3. EllaDee says:

    It’s good to have tasks, projects and plans. Physical work grounds us and somehow frees our minds and clears away the cobwebs from our thoughts while we carry it out 🙂

  4. What a lovely fireplace (am I correct?). The pile of wood or firewood as we call it here reminds me of my late mother-in-law who was a baker. She had stocks and stocks of firewood piled in her baking area, to be used as fire in the swish oven (a sort of traditional oven created with red earth blocks into a huge cone like structure that gets better and stronger through the fire that is set in it for the baking.) she used for baking.

    Glad that you are wonderfully occupied. 🙂

    • Thanks for this Celestine. It is a wonderful image of your late mother-in-law that you share. I too am a baker, who used to bake in what we call a woodstove here. I haven’t been baking too much since mom stopped eating. You remind me of all the mothers who care for people they love in this way. You always seem to know just what is needed when you leave a comment.

      I always love to learn more about your family. I am confused though, is it your mother that lives with your family? I thought it was your mother-in-law? Forgive me if I missed a detail or too.

      Much happiness to you. Beth

      • That is alright, Beth. I live with my mother; in fact I have lived with her all my life and when I married she moved in with me to help with the kids and she never left, though once in a while she goes to the village to visit our extended family.

        On the other hand, my mother-in-law has never lived with me. I used to visit her in her marital home, with the children where we sometimes stayed the weekend. Since her death, our visits to her home has not been so frequent. (pop-in-law is still alive) I hope you are clear now. 🙂

      • Phew! thanks for the clarification. I was worried that I had missed an important event in your life, as I have not been as regular with my catching up do to being like a squirrel gathering acorns for winter. I am glad to know your mother is safe and well. Blessings to her, and also to you. More and more I am amazed by you and the depth of who you are to us all.

  5. Dear Beth

    I am so glad that you have some moments of light amongst the darkness. It was wonderful to read this piece and to feel your energy and spirit shining through. It is still such early days but it is marvellous to know that you have glimpses of a better time and even now there are things you can begin again to feel pleasure in.

    When loved ones pass it is hard to think that there will ever be a time when we start to feel normal again, when we can again take pleasure in the little ordinary things. When we start to feel even the slightest lightness, it is a wonderful reminder that things will get better, we will get better.

    With love

    • Thanks Corinne. Your words are like a comfy soft blanket that I can wrap myself in – both to keep in the warmth of the ‘return to life’ moments, and also to buffer the cold lonely ones that remain. It is still so early, a fact that I have to keep reminding myself – I expect a lot.

      So want to move past survive and on to thrive. Have to keep hearing the messages that healing from the loss of a mother’s love, or fully internalizing it, takes time and is a process.

      As always, my love and friendship circles back to you ten-fold.

  6. Thanks to you too, Beth. I love that line,”to move past survive and on to thrive.”

    With love

  7. Hi Beth

    I have just nominated your blog for the Super Sweet Blogging Award. I would be honoured if you accepted the nomination. You can find out all about it at

    I hope the link works. It took me two hours to work out how to do it and in the end all I had to do was trust and click. A lesson there I think.

    With love

  8. Pamela Janz says:

    Oh Beth…Im glad to hear that you have your wood and that you will be warm for the winter…
    .I had such a wonderful cozy feeling picturing your memories around the fire…felt like I was there …Lots of love

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