Accidents Can Happen
As someone who lives on an island I have to make sure that during these summer months I am gathering sufficient wood for the fireplace in the winter. We have a sixteen acre property so there is no lack of wood available.
Chopping wood is something that I enjoy and so it was with some gusto that I took on the job of cutting down some trees. We only have a small chainsaw so the size of trees I can cut down is somewhat limited. I also have a son who is an arborist so there is really no need for me to take down anything that is larger.
My wife suggested a few smaller trees but for some reason I moved on to a larger tree. I put on my steel toed boots, my hard hat, and my chaps. The tree in question was an Alder and I cut a notch in the tree and started my cut from the other side. Everything was progressing as planned when suddenly the tree split up the middle rather than going down (called a barbershop break). I looked up and I had this large tree about twenty feet above me. It fell right beside me, bending my chain saw and just grazing me.
Afterwards, I just stood there, somewhat in shock. Unhurt but realizing that if the tree had fallen a few inches closer I would be dead. It was a strange feeling, to think it could all be over so quickly - in a flash. I found myself wondering what it would be like to be gone, just like that.
Since the accident I find myself on occasion returning to that moment in the forest when I came so close to death. There are so many things that I would have missed - God was indeed gracious.
Needless to say I no longer am cutting standing trees. I went back to look at some videos and now understand what I had done wrong. My son told me that there was no point in gathering this knowledge since my tree cutting days were over. I still enjoy cutting up the trees that have fallen and maybe that is enough for now.