The flames gnawed at the small split spruce, my legs curled up under me as sat beside the stove feeding it small pieces. Days when the cold killed the will to be outside and made shivers run over my skin, I split tiny pieces no bigger than my thumb to start the fire. On the coldest of days I must have a stack of kindling that will make the task easy, and the fire quick to start. Lifting the ax, I attempted to chip off splinters of various sizes.
I suppose it’s a bit of technique, practicing patience. It’s not all matches and paper, it’s making sure there is enough kindling to be lit and stay aflame. It’s positioning the crumpled paper in the middle of the stove and making a little log cabin out of the thing strips of wood. It’s one match lit and placed close to the paper, touching the flame to the paper as much as you can before the flame threatens to burn your fingers.
This little wood stove of mine burns 40,000 BTU’s, which is more than enough for the little bit of space that needs to be heat my 16″ yurt. I haven’t yet learned how to regulate the temperature for such a small space, and keeping it from baking me out to the point where I feel like I need to open the vent in the skylight. I suppose I am used to heating for colder weather then the warm winter air we have been blessed with this winter.
It is a sentimental sound to my ears, the popping spruce and the loud chewing of the flames through the wood. The red coals s solace through the night, the singing and sizzle of wet wood is the melody of home. The aroma of smoke lingering in the fabric and walls of the yurt yearned for when away, the smells of well-being and place of comfort.