My wife called from the kitchen to say we ought to have dinner in front of the fireplace. Happy to abandon Heidegger, I balanced ``Being and Time'' on the arm of the couch and walked out to the
woodpile, my mind awash with
abstractions, hoping that the sight of a tightly stacked cord of birch and sassafras would steady me. I followed the smell of soup and baking bread back to the den, loaded with logs, which I laid in a pyramid on the firedogs. In the kindling there was a stick riddled with termite tunnels, a fragment of my son's tree
house. Before going to bed I stood in the back yard and watched smoke from the
chimney coil toward the two red oaks at the edge of our woods where the skeleton of a tree
house rode high in the moonlight.