The Wood Pile
Just a simple thing, really.
But I find it to be one of the most beautiful aspects of the winter season.
There’s just something about the colors and the order and the raw beauty.
Like a mosaic, as Marlene described it, with all the rough cuts and splintered edges fitting perfectly together.
I find myself struck anew each day as I pass it. Be it taking the children to explore the woods, or going to visit Daniel and Papa in the sugar shack, or just taking a few minutes by myself to refresh- I almost always stop, if even for a second, to appreciate all that this pile represents.
For it is beautiful to behold, in and of itself. But it is also beautiful for it means provision for our family: warmth and a means of making syrup. For instance, over at the sugar shack, we burn the equivalent amount of wood in just a few hours’ time, that we burn in a week here in the house. Or in other words, in just two hours we burn a week’s worth of house-warming wood. This wood pile is for our family a beautiful representation of Provision.
Even more so, it is beautiful for it represents hours beyond hours of hard labor. Each log has been hand-chopped from a hand-felled tree. It has been pushed in the wheelbarrow, then hand-stacked, and allowed to dry for a season.
It’s a bit overwhelming to think upon all that work-
That sound of the saw ringing through the forest air
The number of times that ax fell upon that old and dented wooden block
Those blisters made from the sturdy wheelbarrow handles.
Hours of work.
But isn’t that the best kind of work? To be satisfied in the labor, to be comforted by the hours, to find beauty in the blisters?
And that’s what you can find us doing here at the farm- eating and drinking and working, with the greatest sense of God’s hand in the midst of it all.
Here is a little recipe gift for you…
What we have been eating constantly, (literally!) to nourish ourselves for the work ahead…
Winter Kale Salad with Maple-Lemon Vinaigrette
1 bunch kale, stems removed and chopped into bite size pieces
¼ onion (red or white) chopped
½ Cup raisins, dried cherries, or cranberries
½ Cup toasted nuts (we love sunflower seeds and pecans)
1 apple chopped
*Place kale into a large serving bowl and sprinkle the remaining ingredients on top.
For the dressing (adapted from The Nourished Kitchen)
¼ Cup olive oil
1 lemon juiced
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
2 teaspoons maple syrup
*Combine dressing ingredients until well blended. Pour on top of the salad and massage the kale for 2-3 minutes until the kale is fully covered and has a wet look (you may need to double the dressing recipe to make the kale to your liking). Massaging the kale makes it easier and tastier to enjoy raw.
This salad is great as a main dish for lunch or goes well alongside most any main-dish. Our whole family, even Papa and the children, enjoy this salad and we hope your family will too!