Tuesday, December 8, 2009
First Fire of the Winter Season
The snow of Minne-snow-ta is on its way. It is a very good reason for lighting the fireplace in the studio. I await and announce this day every year. I speak loudly to the sprites in the chimney that I'm going to light a fire! It doesn't matter whether there are other humans in the house or not, I announce it. I gather the wood from outside, the kindling and the newspaper. I use real wood matches because I like to hold it in my hand a moment. I like the sulfur smell just a little. Perhaps I'm a wee bit of a pyro? I poke it with a stick and keep it roasty toasty.
I love to see and smell the fire and hear the music, and taste a steaming cup of java, tea, or hot cocoa. I guess it's sensory overload, but wow, it's good.
Some days when I've lit it every day for many days, and tendered its coals overnight, I begin to feel the presence of my ancestors, who kept their houses warm with their fires. It is cool in my studio without it, since I teach in my lower level. I get a little tired of hauling the wood, and then I laugh at myself. The women chopped it and stacked it, and I do it for the atmosphere. HA!
My studio parents love it too. They come in and visibly relax into the sofa. Aaaah, they remark on its warmth. But I think it's more than that. So many of them rush rush rush from one place to the next. Sometimes there is such a peace in the fireplace room that they fall asleep, worn and warm. It is a rich moment when the student and I notice their grownup asleep and we agree to serenade them in their dreams. We talk softly and play our music with extra depth.
Oh yes, I lit the fire today. It is officially the first day of winter.