“Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water” – Buddah
I am a guys girl, really.
At least I suspect I am. I get a real kick out of doing things for myself that are not typically girly things to do. My favourite of these things is chopping fire wood.
I get a real kick out of chopping wood.
As with many of the best things, the first time I did it was out of necessity. Or was it curiosity? I forget now, it was so long ago. But I know this, I love it.
There is a certain satisfaction in swinging a heavy axe up behind you and dropping it in just exactly the right place on your perfectly balanced log to make it split satisfyingly down the middle. If you have a really big axe, like the one I had in the beginning, you don’t even have to really exert much force. The axe itself is so heavy that if you just swing it up and let it drop in the right place the wood practically jumps apart. In those days I used to have a wood burning stove and I used to chop wood every night.
These days I still have a small fire place, and a much smaller axe. You have to use a bit more muscle with a smaller axe, and a bit more precision is called for. But chopping wood is fun! You work up a sweat. You feel primal, in touch with your ancestral strength. I must admit, when I have just chopped up a decent pile of fire wood for the night, I am the man! Well, I am one badass girl in any case. I think I get in touch with my masculine side. I know girls aren’t meant to do that, but we do, and it’s fun. I do miss my old axe though. I think one of the nicest gifts anyone could give a girl is a really big axe.
When I was a kid my dad insisted that I have a pocket knife, a pop gun and a remote control car. Maybe that’s why today I love axes and driving fast cars. Although I am not much of a fan of guns.
As much as I love the idea of chivalry, of having a real man about the place who does things like this for me, let’s face it. In reality most girls will be much better off being educated in the masculine arts than served by a man. Skills stick when men have buggered off, and a girl who can wield an axe stands a much better chance than one who stood around watching a boy do it for her all her life.
So if you need a bit of exercise with a sense of primal achievement, buy an axe and get bigger braai wood next time.
A word of caution though girls, as much fun as this all is, I don’t recommend chopping wood in heels. Just take my word for it.