Tuesday, November 23, 2004


One of the many fine things about living on a mountainside is that it starts to become colder before the flatlands do, so we get to enjoy our simple woodfire a week or so before the complexly hermetic central heating of the new lowland buildings begins to imitate the tropics.

We started our first fire of the season in the woodstove a few days ago, and as always it was a physicospiritual event. Hefty ingots of gold and silver wood, cut and stacked over the past two winters to spend the summers gathering interest from the sun-- and tended all along with winter in mind-- were carried inside, layered ritually in the freshly cleaned firebox below the freshly cleaned stovepipe and set alight with some shavings from themselves.

As we knelt before the flame, holding out our hands to the warm blessing of ancient light, we were awed once again at how just a small fire in the hearth can transform the air of the entire house, like passion in the heart, telling us in whispers of common warmth to be more like the flame than the darkness.

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