As soon as we had our wood stove installed (way before the house was actually finished), we fired it up and began burning the waiting woods. Which means as soon as we smelled smoke it was time to start chopping the felled trees around the homestead. (We're country folk.) At first that was my husband's job. He's a manly sort of man, so the axe fit right in with his red flannel shirt and burly beard.
But after a while my back started to hurt from being the setter in that situation. And I was bored. And it looked fun. So I tried my hand at swinging and splitting. At first, it took ten of my puny little chips to keep up with his mighty thwack. I had to learn accuracy, then I could add power. Then the question became… "Is it parentally sound to put this sharp of an object in the hands of an eight-year-old?"
We all chop now. And we teach the neighbor kids to do the same. Splitting wood is wildly cathartic. I feel the release all the way down to my toes. I can visibly see my work being accomplished before my eyes (which is not often true in my work). My heart sings at the crack of a clear split. It uses my body in the way its designed to be used,
Unsplash photo cred: Joel and Jasmin Forestbird