When you are stacking firewood you quickly learn that it is not that simple to do well. The wood is different lengths, its irregular. Some of the wood has knots in it that make it cumbersome, there are rotten chunks that need to be discarded. Some of the wood is straight and true but not most of it and all of it needs stacking.
Stacking a lot of wood quickly teaches you to size up the wood pieces on the fly. You try a piece one way and the pile becomes rocky and tentative but another way it falls into place and it becomes solid, waiting for more pieces of wood to come in on top and to the sides of it. The goal is a neat, well stacked pile that lets the wood continue to season or age so that it will burn well this winter–warming the home, keeping the snows at bay.
Firewood stacking requires a lot of decisions happening quickly, trying one thing, trying another. To add to that its hard, its not something we do with regularity, there are sore backs, an occasional splinter, a bruised toe. Sometimes pulling pieces of wood out and coming back to them later, all in the quest of a nice pile of wood that will disappear into the wood stove over the coming months.
It turns out that stacking wood is a lot like teaching, a lot like life. There are some aches and pains, there is a lot of flexibility required, and the end result is wonderful but fleeting.
It is still worth doing and doing well.