Thursday, March 26, 2009

The Sawmill

As I walked into my parking lot a small smile came to my lips. A smile that comes with knowledge of familiarity.

As a kid I used to visit my grandparents' sawmill. The mill is still there but they aren't. They were older than the mill. The passage to the mill was piled with fresh logs on both sides. The greatest attraction of the mill for me was it's big wooden pan balance right at the entrance. Others liked the new electric sawing machine. I loved to swing on the balance. Sometimes I'd get weighed against firewood, sometimes against the weights that I could not lift.

In summer my cousins, my brother and I'd play hide and seek in the mill. Behind the logs, over the shed, heap of sawdust, and dingy cowshed were our hiding places. Sometimes we'd climb the shed and pluck wood apple and jamun (kind of a plum). Granddad would yell urging us to be safe and not to pluck the raw fruits. We'd take these fruits home to aunt. Jamun made for immediate consumption. We'd take a glass full of them, washed and salted. When we were done eating each of us will compare whose tongue was darker shade of purple.

After the hard day at mill body would itch with sawdust and lungs would be saturated with smell of damp wood, wood shavings, sawdust and rat poop. We would go back the next day nonetheless.

It's this nostalgic smell I've found in my parking lot emanating from the mulch of wood chips.

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