I just finished a long and wonderfully deep conversation with a very dear friend on the phone. All the while, the fire in my hearth was burning warm and bright and making the noises that fires do. Hissing and popping, the sounds of flickering flame and swirling smoke.
At one point we were interrupted by a quirky oven timer that likes to go off at random. It’s the old buzzer style with the obnoxiously nasal sound, like some weird character with a squished-up face and flared nose hollering: “Hknaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa…!”
I apologized, got up and turned it off, then put another chunk of cedar on the fire. Our conversation resumed as glowing red embers floated up the chimney, chased by tongues of light.
We said goodbye. I hung up and leaned into the old rocking chair. It creaked a little, and then all went serenely quiet. No buzzing timer, no humming refrigerator or lights. All noisemakers in the house muted. No distant traffic, not even crickets. Everything just still and at peace.
The hearth remained very warm and glowed softly, silently. For a moment in time, the world around and within me was perfectly calm. I contemplated on solitude and gratitude. I typed up this little observation, clicking at the keyboard only as long as necessary to share it with you.
Now I unplug everything in the house and rekindle the fire, lay on the wood floor next to it, and smile.
Goodnight and thank you.