Fire Watching

This morning, while attempting to get through my morning chores, I caught myself just sitting and staring… probably for a pretty long time. When I came to, I felt like I’d awoken from a trance.

It was below zero outside when we got up this morning, so my first order of business was to get the fires going. I started with the kitchen stove, and soon had the cedar kindling cheerfully crackling. Then I moved on to the big Jotul stove that sits in the center of the livingroom. We usually don’t run the big Jotul unless the temperature is below the mid 20s. It had a fire all last night, but there were just a few coals left, so I had to split up some kindling and some hardwood into small slabs, and pile them criss-cross on top of the coals. Then I did something else for a few moments. When I returned, I blew on the coals, and the flames erupted. That is when I zoned out.

The big Jotul has a glass door which, while not perfectly transparent, does allow a view of the fire. And what a view it is. Ever since I can remember, I’ve enjoyed watching fires. But when the house is cold and your feet are close to the fire, there is something extra special about just sitting and staring at the flames. When I recovered from my trance, I wondered how far back on my ancestral tree we have been doing just what I was doing, watching the flames.

You’ll notice I was not alone at the hearth. I think if anything, Franco likes the fire more than I do. Tonight his head was almost touching the stove. I felt him just to be sure he hadn’t burned his brains out, but he just whapped his tail a couple of times to tell me all was well.

I wonder if anyone has patented fire therapy? I would think that watching a fire, especially when it is cold outside, would be a cure for any and all known maladies.

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