Hardwood and tools

Ah, farm living.

When does a farm become a farm?

The existentialism of this question really just occurred to me. Do a farm house, a barn and some fields constitute a farm, or is there something more to it?

Can I just call myself a farmer and actually become one? Or do I need to accomplish something first?

Having a dog and some rubber boots sure helps you feel authentic though. And a chain saw. And obviously a tractor. But we don’t have one of those, so forget about that for a second and ask yourself what makes you feel authentic, what makes you feel that you are indeed what you believe yourself to be.


I think the answer has something to do with tools.

I tried chopping some wood the other day. I just assumed that wood here was like wood from the left coast of the country, but boy was I wrong. I’d always heard of this thing called hardwood and just assumed…well, not entirely sure what I assumed. Never really thought about it really.

But the reality of what is meant by hardwood came crashing onto me and that first axe head fell impotently onto a pretty minor – or so I thought – chunk of what I can only assume was oak. The axe, brand new and sharp as a knife’s edge, bounced lamely off as the full shock of what had just occurred traveled up my arms from stinging hands into confused shoulders and through on up to my brain.

I couldn’t believe it. I had failed to even dent the bloody piece of wood. It was only then that I understood why there was a six-pound splitting axe leaning in the corner of the shed.

Tools. The right tools and you can begin to feel authentic. Otherwise you’re just a wise guy with stinging hands and a confused expression standing over an embarrassingly small piece of fire wood wondering what to do.

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