While Sitting in Front of the Fireplace

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Wrote the following while sitting in front of the fireplace last night:

Fire. Creating it –  by rubbing sticks together or striking flint on steel – may have been man’s first invention. Certainly, it was his best.

But I don’t want to write about the practical values of fire: things like warmth, light and energy. Tonight, I’m appreciating its aesthetic properties.

I’ve spent a good part of my life looking at yellow and blue flames, curling and then leaping around, under and over well placed wood: mesquite, oak, pinion or cedar. Growing up we built a fire most every fall and winter night, and, at Hidden Falls, campfire was the spiritual pinnacle of every day.

I love the sounds of fire, too. Am listening to them now: a constant blowing noise like a flag being whipped in a stiff breeze, occasional crackling, less often pops, some of them accompanied by fiery projectiles brought down in mid-flight by a sturdy screen.

I feel sorry for people who live in buildings or cities where real fires with real wood are prohibited. Sitting by a fire is one of my favorite pleasures, made even better if I have a pad and pen in hand.

*****

Seems like we’ve seen five or six books leave the house every day this week. More about one of those and its reader in tomorrow’s blog.

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