Lightered Knots

Many times when I go home to visit my family in Putnam County I will walk the woods for lightered knots, or “fat lightered.” Lightered is basically seasoned pine (usually a stump, but not always). Highly flammable, pieces of lightered are commonly used to start fires in the fireplace or campfire. I discovered a few years ago that you can actually buy lightered, but it is very expensive. The next thing you know people will be looking to buy other available products of nature like mistletoe or manure.

At another time and another place in my past I gave an entire lightered stump to a neighbor. She had complained to Amy about how hard it was to start a fire in her fireplace. The next day we looked out the kitchen window and a steady plume of coal-black smoke was belching out of her chimney. I have never seen a volcano erupt but for the life of me I half expected lava to come out any minute. You guessed it; she put the entire stump in her fireplace.

A little goes a long way.

It is easy for us to fall prey to the fallacious thought that there is no such thing as too much of a good thing. Most often a little goes a long way. A smile, a handshake, or a kind word, are actions that do not require much…just a little and I find that is usually enough.

Sometimes we think we have to smother, cover and slather everything in order to be effective. This method works for the Waffle House but it is not always necessary in life. In fact I believe many get overwhelmed with the thought that they must give completely of themselves and so chose to give nothing. Jesus said: “…and whoever gives even a cup of cold water to one of these little ones in the name of a disciple– truly I tell you, none of these will lose their reward” (Matthew 10:42).

Grace be with you,
Greg DeLoach

1 Comment

  1. A “fat lightered knot” is formed by a limb growing out of a pine tree. It is harder that the regular pine. The sap is pine tar or turpentine. The best kind for kindling is the result of a forrest fire that moves too quickly to burn the entire tree but “seasons” the tar and brings it closer to the surface.

    Any part of the pine that has not been burned too much can be cut in chips or strips and it is easily lit. It burns very hot and will usually start a good fire, especially in the fire place, with little effort.

    dave o

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