A Shade of Ash # 7 – Son of a Birch

Hey everybody,

Hope you’re having an awesome day!

Every picture tells a story or is a key to one. – Ash

Whenever I see a pile of wood by the side of the road or in someone’s front yard, it instantly takes me back to when I was kid. I believe I was around ten years old. Back that humbling day when I tried to prove to my Uncles that I was just as big and tough as they were. A coming of age moment of my life with a Shade of Ash humour that I will never forget. A bunch of wood grouped together sets the scene and some of you already know this, but I grew up with my grandparents, so my Uncles are like my brothers. There’s five of them. I made six, and the youngest in that dynamic and because of that, I was considered “Mommy’s Boy”. *I called my grandmother, Mom, by the way.

OK, Cue the wavey time-travel lines, fade to the 80’s.

Firewood was a primary source of heat for us growing up, so from time to time, that meant the whole family would have to pitch in and help bring freshly cut wood from my grandfathers boat up to the front yard to be packed and stacked. Every now and again, my grandfather accompanied by two or three of the Uncles, would travel by boat to some remote area to cut down the wood. Then, once they had a load, they would return home where the wood still had to be sawed up and stored away. None of that process involved me though. I got off the hook for stuff like that. Hey! It’s not me, my grandmother just wouldn’t have it back then. She’d look at my Uncles, each of them, and tell them to go on outside and not bother me. “Leave Ashley alone, he’s alright, go on, your fathers waiting.” She’d say. This rotted my uncles of course. Now, they wouldn’t say much in retort and just went on to work. Though, like prisoners knowing all the blind spots of a prison yard, they too new when to get in a few licks and wrestling moves behind my grandparents backs to make sure I knew what’s up. Until that one day, where I had enough of it.

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Bike Writer # 47 – I’ve Always Bee-Hived This Way

I go to books and to nature as the bee goes to a flower, for a nectar that I can make into my own honey. – John Burroughs

Bike Writer # 46 – Take In A Little Steam

Wherever you are, be there totally. – Eckhart Tolle

Bike Writer # 45 – It’s Mind Over What Matters

We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves. – Buddha

Bike Writer # 44 – The Paddler


With every stroke, with every ounce of me, I move forward. Pulling myself through the wake of life. Today, I cross a pond. Tomorrow…I challenge the ocean. – Ash

Bike Writer # 43 – It’s Not About Always Being the Best, It’s About Always Being You!

Use what talents you possess: the woods would be very silent if no birds sang there except those that sang best. – Henry van Dyke

Far From Home

Photo by Miriam Espacio on Pexels.com

I walk this earth an alien
no place here for a castaway
surrounded all the time
still alone

My blood, it’s not like yours
it repels
it taints
it makes things you love disappear

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Journal Entry # 183 – You’re Stronger Than You Think

Pray not for a lighter load, but for stronger shoulders. – Augustine of Hippo

Bike Writer # 41 – For a Spell, For a Flower

Many eyes go through the meadow, but few see the flowers in it. – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Journal Entry # 182 – Embrace the Space

Explore the forests, climb the mountains, bag the peaks, run the rivers, breathe deep of that yet sweet and lucid air, sit quietly for a while and contemplate the precious stillness, the lovely, mysterious, and awesome space. – Edward Abbey

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