Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Lost world: the smell of woodfire

The world is full of little treasures. The world is full of lost worlds. If - and only if - we take the time to take a closer look. I descent from a family of farmers. My grandfather was a farmer. My grandgrandfather was a farmer. My father was the first one who broke the line. I descent from a christian family. My father is a christian. My grand(grand)father was a christian. I'm the first one who broke the line. I remember sitting alone with my daddies mum in the old kitchen of her. Silence. The clock tapping. The smell of woodfire. The smell of food on the stove. Jesus on a cross.

The smell of wood and the yearly routine of christians. It's lost for me. Ofcourse there is Christmas and ofcourse I light a big woodfire a few times a year but the necessity is lost. For my daddies mum it was just the way it was - without realising it - day in day out, year in year out. Wood had to be cut into pieces to light up the stove for warmth and cooking food. Going to church 4 or 5 times a week to celebrate her inner belief.

The world of woodfire is lost for me. Gather wood. Store up cut wood. Store up the twigs. Dry and wet wood. Wood of pine, oak, birch or aspen. How to light up a fire in an stove. How long a piece of oak or aspen burns. The smell of wood when it's wet. The light pinewood gives. How to regulate the stove for cooking. And ... - there must be more hidden treasures in the world of woodfire?

I like to take a walk in the fall and winter. Pass old houses where a woodfire burns. Mostly remembering my daddies mum and the world that went with her death.

P.s. I was talking about my fathers side of my family but the story is exactly the same for my mothers side.

1 comment:

  1. Your post brought back my own childhood memories of my grandparents far. They grew 13acres of rhubarb and were the main suppliers in Australia! They were hard workers and worked long hours, as do most farmers and yet, it was a simple life.

    My fondest memories are of sitting around the woodfire, collecting the eggs from the 'chook' shed and climbing the huge old oak tree.

    Thanks for igniting those memories!