Tonight, in the near-dark, I split a piece of wood. It’s nearing November. I don’t have anything to split wood on yet, like an old stump or an established pile of woodchips, so I set the log up lengthwise in the middle of the green, thinning grass beside the firepit and Adirondack chairs and made a few unsuccessful passes with my new axe after the sun had set and the sharpness of the fall air had come on for the night. I missed, bruising the axe-handle just below the beard when it connected with the log. But I went at it again anyhow. I gripped firmly, wrapping my fingers around the belly of the handle, then squared my feet and shoulders and swung, splitting the piece of fir more-or-less in two.