The sun and wind broke sharp and hard through the barren woods. In the wan light of late afternoon a chain saw gnawed on fallen trees, long two-handled blades sliced across layers of ringed wood, axes bit through hardened trunks. The men toiled steadily and relentlessly against the dimming light to harvest that which on the morrow, burning hot, would press away the cold from their stone house.
The wood carefully stacked in the reaches below the house, they entered silently into chapel whose windows gathered carefully the last fragments of the day’s light.
In deepest night, they arose and quietly gathered into chapel. Cloaked in darkness and remnants of sleep, their prayer broke upon the silence haltingly but with gathering strength.
Within the bowels of the still-cold house, a single figure fed the awakening fire pieces of trees. Warmth rose slowly, insistently into the stones above.
Their prayer continued through the night, and with increasing intensity rose heavenward. Prayer and wood-scented smoke mingled and ascended, embraced by a God eagerly awaiting with them the arrival of a new day.
- RJ Christopher