Primeval Me by Nalda Wainwright
The cold weather gripping the country hasmade me very glad of the log burner in my lounge. Whilst sawing and chopping new supplies ofwood, I was wondering why this is one of my favourite jobs. Perhaps it is thephysicality keeping me warm whilst outside on such a freezing day, or the sheersatisfaction of striking the log to see it split cleanly. Maybe it is just the pure simplicity of thetask in a modern and often very complicated world.
Buddhist stories often suggest studentsshould concentrate on doing mundane tasks well. Morgan Freeman playing ‘God’ in the film ‘Bruce Almighty’ requires Bruce to help him with mopping the floor, asdoes Socrates in Millman’s ‘Way of thePeaceful Warrior’. These examples may beabout developing humility and self-discipline, undoubtedly valuable qualitiesto practice. However with the firewood,I think there is something deeper, linking to a connection with fire that ispart of something innate in us as human beings. Gathering firewood and making fire seems to link to an ancient innerpast which we often loose touch with in our modern lives.
Or maybe it isjust great to be sitting by the roaring fire!
[Nalda is a PhD student at the University and this reflective blog really made me think. I thought you would enjoy reading it]