It’s probably going to reach somewhere near 90-92 degrees here in the Atlanta area today, and I’ve spent the last three weeks splitting firewood for our coming winter where we’ll be lucky to get more than 20 days of temps in the lower 30s or upper 20s.
But beyond just some need to get out and do something manly for a change (as opposed to watching the kids or sitting in a chair at work on the computer all day), there is something very cathartic about mindless physical exertion, and it is this which has drawn me time and again to one of the two stacks of wood in my backyard these past few weeks.
To be sure there is a satisfaction one can gain from parenting or from one’s chosen profession, but in my experience, few things are as satisfying as rounding a day off soaked in sweat (perspiration for my female audience) and having something as solid as a stack of split wood to show for your efforts; even if half of it will probably go to waste since it doesn’t get that cold here anyway.
Also, for me, I get some of my best contemplating in when I’m doing something singular like cutting firewood or mowing the lawn. It is during these times that I’m most introspective, because let’s face it, you don’t really need your brain when you’re working in the yard. I wonder if Einstein came up with some of his most pervasive postulates while working? Perhaps Da Vinci was planing off a new worktable when he came with the idea for the parachute. Who knows.
But, I finished one stack and based on how things are going at work, I luckily have a whole ‘nother stack to go. Skip the gym, cut some wood, keep my sanity. Not a bad deal all in all.