Cameron was already asleep upstairs, so it was definitely my duty to shut the house down for the evening. Specifically, this included making sure the woodstove was full to ensure a nice, long, overnight burn.
The woodstove was two-thirds full; it needed another log or two to be added to the stove before I could leave it for the night.
A normal person would simply open the door to the porch and bring a log or two inside to add to the fire. It wouldn’t be that hard. It’s, like, a four-second trip: open the exterior door, reach into the wood-box, and pull out the nearest log or two. It doesn’t even require going out into the elements. Easy.
But the wrench in my wood-burning routine was the giant, over-sized mother-of-all logs that happened to be sitting on the hearth right next to the woodstove. It was calling to me.
The evil half of my brain commanded, “Even though that log isn’t going to fit, just try to jam it inside anyway, Laura-Jane. Just try it. Won’t it be easier to try to shove that giant piece of firewood in an already-almost-full woodstove rather than take four-seconds to get an average-sized piece? Please, just give it a shot. Come on, you know you want to try it.”
Meanwhile the wise part of my brain was pleading softly, almost inaudibly, “Don’t do it. Are you crazy? That piece of firewood will never fit. Just slip some shoes on and get a smaller piece already. Please? It’ll be quicker in the long-run…”
I opened the woodstove’s hatch. I contemplated for a moment.
Even though I could faintly hear the soft whispers of the wise brain (”No, it’s impossible. Just forget about the monster piece.”), my evil brain compelled me to reach for the monster piece–that tempting giant tree-trunk.
I got the monster piece of firewood part-way in, and the hot coals started to consume it immediately. Of course, it didn’t fit; the monster piece just hung out of the woodstove like a mischievous tongue, gloating at me.
I took the poker and jabbed at the monster piece for a number of seconds. It didn’t budge. It still wouldn’t fit.
I contemplated my options. I poked harder and I moved some coals around. The monster piece of firewood still didn’t fit in. I couldn’t close the woodstove’s hatch.
Now, of course, the wise voice got louder. “I told you it was impossible,” the wise voice lectured. “You didn’t listen, and now look what happened. Giant firewood tongue is burning, crackling, and laughing at you.”
After a good six minutes of whining, poking, prodding, cursing, shoving and teeth gritting, the monster piece was finally in.
When we first got our Blaze King Princess woodstove, it was a new-born babe.
Now our woodstove is a seasoned veteran, and she’s teaching me to treat her with respect.
The woodstove has taught me to listen to my wise inner voice, even when it speaks so quietly I pretend it’s not there. Because in the end, the quiet wise voice always gets louder, and it’s the other voice that fades away.