A Kick From Nature


April 24, 2020. In the far north woods, nature can kick you in any season. A late-November storm brought down dozens of trees and cluttered Camp Many Moons with fallen branches and brush. My little patch of heaven is a mess. Cleaning it up is back-breaking work. What would I do without Jeff and his back-hoe and bulldozer and tractor and chainsaw – and vision? But I’ve learned to see beyond the mess too. I’ve learned to imagine more vigorously. It gives me energy to yank, pull, push and pile until my whole body starts to ache. I want it cleaned up! I want my camp back! I pull Jeff to this stump and that, this injured tree and that. “What about this? While we’re at it, this too.” I get a little crazed with clean-up zeal. Last year, I pressured him to preserve every tree possible. This year, I’m more ruthless. The “junk” has to go. One especially large tree was a large challenge; first, cut into manageable pieces and divide into “firewood potential” and “junk,” then cut and stack the firewood, then haul the branches to the fire pile, and – finally – push the huge stump onto the back-hoe forks to haul into the woods. I’m still trying to figure out what to do with the hole left behind. My butt hurts from stumbling onto a hard stump. I’m expecting a big bruise. My vision is dimming, but it will come back. I know it will. Sisu!

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