A recent pilgrimage to the Aldo Leopold "shack" near Baraboo, Wisconsin revived the environmental spirit in my own soul. I find a number of elements about the Leopold farm and shack draw me nearer to the very pragmatic and conservation-based "land ethic" he professed in such an eloquent manner--both in written word and through practical application. None of the features of his humble "chicken coop-altered shack" is perhaps more directly related to my own life meaning than respective fires we built for warmth. Thusly--the picture of Aldo's fireplace and my own simple ode to the first fire of the fall. One must listen to the fire crackle while reading the humble verse.
Ode to the Wood Fire
A magical light consumes this lair,
the fall’s first fire of the year,
a frosted evening approaches here,
greeted with radiant heat so near.
The aged wood so deftly cleaved,
is raging hot now where it seethes,
confined within this iron sheath,
flickering flames of chill relief.
The season’s come to give rejoice,
and southbound birds give approving voice,
to garden’s bountiful foods of choice,
now fading fast the fate they face.
Many pleasures we revere,
small and large, we hold all dear,
but most anticipated its quite clear,
the first fall fire of the year.