I don’t know if silence is truly the language of men or not, but I just spent two full days mostly in silence splitting wood with my next door neighbor. At the end of the first day my wife asked what we talked about out there. I looked at her somewhat startled with the realization we didn’t talk and somewhat puzzled by the question. My neighbor and I each wore ear protection to drown out the hypnotic drone of the motor on the wood splitter. We couldn’t hear each other when we did speak.
Last spring we (our neighbors and us) had 5 trees cut down that bordered our property line. Four of the trees were diseased Cedar and Fir trees that stood 100 to 120 feet tall. I split my wood early this summer, but my neighbor has young girls that are heavily involved in sports so he didn’t have time to split his wood earlier. We spent about 16 hours Saturday and Sunday splitting and throwing wood into a pile and we are maybe half-way through with his wood. Many of the rounds measured 3 and 4 feet in diameter and the 2 of us struggled to move them and position them in the splitter.
Within a few minutes of starting we developed a fascinating communication system involving eye contact, hand & finger motions, facial expressions and head nods. During the infrequent breaks to get of of the pouring rain, to eat lunch or fill the gas tank, we chatted briefly about kids or sore backs or why it was we didn’t own condos, but they were always short conversations. We were on task, we worked our butts off and there was no time for chit-chat. And yet, there was a bonding that occurred. Through the cold wet rain and aches of our bodies, we smiled and laughed and truly enjoyed the moment.
There is something authentic about repetitive hard manual labor. As I pulled down on the lever of the splitter over and over and over I remembered as a child how neighbors helped neighbors on the farm. Neighbors would spend days putting up hay for each other. My dad and the other men worked 16 to 18 hours in the field. About the only time they talked was over a sandwich or when a piece of equipment broke down. And yet, there was a bond, a close friendship that formed and lasted for more than 40 years after we left the farm.
Working in silence, there is the opportunity to listen. I listened to my thoughts, I listened to the universe around me. As tired as I was at the gym on Monday morning, I am glad I had the opportunity to help my neighbor. There is a kinship that he and I share. I look out the kitchen window at the pile of wood to be stacked and at all the huge rounds left to split and smile. Friendships are important – create some time to spend with a friend – it will do you good.
Your Hypnosis Health Info Hypnotic Suggestion for today:
I create the time to spend with my friends.
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