Last Tuesday, I ran over to see the newly posted work program schedule. Like always, everyone is anxious to find out what they will be doing for that afternoon. In this manner, lunch is ended with an exciting surprise for the days’ continuance. Whether it be painting, harvesting, weaving, raking, cleaning or cooking, I am always excited to find out what I will be doing around Chewonki. This particular work program held a new, exciting and very Chewonki-like experience for me. I was mauling wood.
I had seen others do it, I had heard others talk about it, but never had I actually mauled the wood myself. So there I went, walking off to the farm with a ready mindset, a confident heart and good friends by my side. Once we got there we loaded a truck with, what I think is, all the mauls at the farm. It was a cold, crisp day with chilling breezes. I looked forward to pulse rate-induced warmth, as we drove to the logging site in the back of the farm pick up.
We received an overview of the efficient way to maul wood. I carefully chose my first log, placed it strategically on the ground and attacked. I swung and hit the wood multiple times before any accomplishments were made. Once the first log cracked in half, the release I experienced was extremely satisfying. Eventually the motion became habitual and the whole process became easier. With mauling wood comes the feeling and air of pure lumberjack. I believe that I released my inner lumberjack and became one with the wood.
As I talked with the six other women sharing this empowering experience with me, I started to realize how significant the experience really was. It became apparent to me that three months ago, I never would have found mauling wood so exciting. As everything at Chewonki has helped me to grow and learn, not many things have let this growth become apparent to me. Who knew mauling wood would bring realization, empowerment and satisfaction.
-Rory Shamlian, Jamesville, NY