Monday, 20 January 2014

Wood fires

Wood fires are a kind of prayer, because prayer rises like incense to heaven, and woodsmoke rises to the peaceful sky like the incense of prayer.

The wood we burn comes from two places.  Our compressed sawdust briquettes, which burn as hot and long as coal, are a by-product of saw mills – for the words of Jesus, “Gather up the fragments that remain, so that nothing may be lost”.   Our logs come from a tree-surgeon, cut from diseased or dying trees that have to come down for safety and the health of the woodland, they are mixed hardwood and softwood.  Sometimes we have some oak logs in the mix.

An oak tree takes three hundred years to grow to full maturity, then rests for three hundred years, then takes three hundred years to die.

So when I light the fire from the dead twigs of old trees, add split logs and close the door of the stove, I am mindful not to be too busy for wonder. 




Here, on my hearth, warming my tiny little house, slowly released in kindly comfort to keep the chill away, is the sunshine of a thousand summers.

12 comments:

Yiayia Ann said...

What a lovely thought. Thank you.

Julia Bolton Holloway said...

Buckminster Fuller fascinated my children by saying fire is sunlight unwinding from a log.

Rapunzel said...

Something about the lovely flame in your small stove reminds me of the Catholic images of the Immaculate Hearts of Mother Mary and her strapping lad Jesus, which may or may not be linked properly here:

http://www.google.com/imgres?start=133&sa=X&biw=1280&bih=631&tbm=isch&tbnid=d7lkZWMmKppbYM%3A&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fsacredspace102.blogspot.com%2F2013%2F07%2Fireland-to-be-consecrated-to-immaculate.html&docid=6qS3zztWIcFG_M&imgurl=http%3A%2F%2F1800sunstar.com%2FzzC1LUV%2Fzholydays%2Fchristmas%2Fjesus-christ-pictures%2Fzsacred-hearts-jesus-and-mary-401x330.jpg&w=401&h=330&ei=pU3dUt3YF-nhygGp_ICYDw&zoom=1&iact=rc&dur=1156&page=7&ndsp=21&ved=0CIkBEK0DMCw4ZA

suzy said...

"Here, on my hearth, warming my tiny little house, slowly released in kindly comfort to keep the chill away, is the sunshine of a thousand summers."
A beautiful prayer indeed :)

Julie Faraway said...

I didn't know this about oak trees. It makes one want to stand back and study one, doesn't it?

And your last paragraph? This is why you're a writer.

So glad you are... xoxo

Anne Booth said...

I love 'slowly released in kindly comfort' - this was a beautiful post.

AbiSomeone said...

My heart just swells with joy for you and your precious space, Pen!

patricew said...

beautiful.

Helen Graham said...

Your wood burner is lovely. What make is it?

Pen Wilcock said...

Hello, friends :0)

Yes, that came up fine, Rapunzel.

Helen, it's a Wendy Stove. They're made specially for tents, yurts and sheds in England's West Country. You can see info at Wild Stoves UK (an excellent firm), here: http://wildstoves.co.uk/outdoor-heaters-cookers/yurt-tent-and-caravan-stoves/

Blessings on your day, all! xxx

Helen Graham said...

Thank you, Pen, I love the look of it, small but it appears to give out a fair amount of heat. Your words were just as warming, giving off a wonderfully warm and comfortable vibe.

Pen Wilcock said...

Helen - it's a most attractive design, works brilliantly, and the great thing about it is it's all firebox (with a baffle to ensure complete burning). I've had much bigger stoves with no bigger firebox than this. x