Sunday, March 13, 2011

Chainsaw Mirror

Occasionally some trees are cut, because they died their natural death, they are shading too much, or they threaten to fall on something else. During a windstorm they are going to fall in the driveway or onto a garden.  Or they are shading the solar electric panels and the sunscape needs to be cleared.  So then the chainsaw comes out of the shed and begins its work in my hands.

The chainsaw has been with me since I began clearing the land in 1986.  So we have grown older together.  Younger, we used to cut all day when clearing the driveway and the lower garden.  Over the years we have slowed down; not needing to cut trees and feeling relaxed about clearing, no longer keeping many paths open.  Now the chainsaw likes to cut for the duration of a tank of gas and then it wants to stop.  Seems like it doesn't like to run when its hot.  Neither do I when I am hot.  So we stop and cool off.  If I take a walk for ten minutes after filling the gas and chain oil tanks, we both start up after cooling off and run for another tank.

A mirror, in the chainsaw is an image of me; getting older and taking more breaks, relaxing more.  I used to just power through work and not pay attention to overheating or getting tired.  Now the chainsaw reminds me to take breaks and walk around.  Feel the fragrant breeze weaving through the trees and over the ferns.  I could take the saw to the mechanic or me to the doctor.  We would find that aging is a simply complex process and gracefully reminds us to give attention to the seasons of machines and people.  This is not disease, only natural timing.  

I don't want to replace the chainsaw with a newer model that will run all day.  Neither do I want to replace my body with a newer model that will run all day.  We can both age gracefully and be thankful for these mirrors.  The chainsaw showed me its true nature the other day.  In it I saw timelessness.  We will make more firewood together, and keep the driveway and sunscape clear while we last.  After that, the sky is boundless for both of us.

Posted by michael

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