The aroma of burning wood fills this air of my underground work space. I love the coziness of our fireplace contrasted against the cold and wind just outside our door. Indeed, this is one of my favorite things about winter; finding solace in quiet, unhurried moments -- a suspended schedule that only seems to occur in these cold months.
There is something most civilized about a fire, the way it centers and calms and fills the senses. In fact, a great many things that I hold dear in life are associated with fire. Scent has memories attached; it often happens that a whiff of wood smoke may call up a remembrance of friends gathered about a campfire, laughing, sharing stories and enjoying fellowship. Or a memory may be triggered of making s’mores with our girl scout troop or of dad’s snow-laced work books trekking through the rec room in order to set more firewood upon the hearth.
When we were kids, my sister and I, there were occasions of extended power outages in winter that necessitated gathering around the fireplace for warmth -- even cooking, at times. These are fond memories because, as kids, we weren’t concerned about work or the condition of the roads (except for sledding purposes!) or any of the other worries that plaque parents. We just knew how good it felt to be together... to be warm.. to have enough. Honestly, looking back, it was the epitome of love in my small mind-- that feeling of warmth and security.
It’s no small wonder that I most enjoy writing, reading, movie watching or editing photos in this underground abode when a bright fire crackles happily at my hearth.
May peace, contentment and the love of Christ be yours in this new year.