Being in an office each day, I do need outdoors and physical intensity for balance in my life. One of the ways I maintain some balance in my life is to work outside at some mundane task
For me, making firewood serves to balance my life, as well as provide a cozy fire in my backyard and in my home. Sitting in front of a warm fire, as I write this post, gives inspiration and a warm atmosphere to the entire room and house.
“Why spend so much time and energy doing all that? You would be ahead working and simply buying the wood.” someone may comment. Financially, yes, I would be “ahead,” but not physically, emotionally, or spiritually. (It is so easy for some to measure the value of life in financial numbers. )
I do it for the same reason some people run, workout, play guitars, draw, sketch, paint, make Zentangle art, play competitive sports, ride horses, do beading, quilting, and other artistic home crafts, These all have their origins in ancient civilizations.
I do it for balance and for expression of some deep internal impulse.
While civilization has shielded men and women from much drudgery of past centuries, we can yet reconnect with our primal roots and our souls through creative/expressive forms that are symbols of our ancestors.
Rick Fields wrote his best seller, Chop Wood, Carry Water, based on a well known Buddhist quote, “Before enlightenment, chop wood, carry water. After enlightenment, chop wood, carry water.” Here an ancient Buddhist saying conveys the spiritual value of seeming mundane physical tasks when done as a mindful ritual.
As much as spiritual rituals of today’s religions, these activities are in some way spiritual rituals for the doing of them reconnects us with a deeper part of us that is embedded in our very souls.
We are not just chopping wood, making art, or writing stories. We are connecting with the Source energy of our very souls that provides healing, inspiration, and compassion for ourselves and all others in our world.