Light the Fire
August 7, 2008
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Those were the words we woke up saying to each other this morning. And no, it had nothing to do with our passionate interchanges. It was probably 50 degrees in our house when we woke up. It’s been chilly the last few days and will continue to have a high of about 67 degrees and rainy. So, we broke down and lit a smudge fire in the wood stove. The stove is in the parlor of the house, the same room as my desk, fortunately.
Allan went out to the wood pile by the garage and brought in an armful, set it in the stove, and lit the fire. I can hear the low roar of it as I type. There’s nothing quite as comforting and memorable as a wood stove and fire.
The smell of the smoke instantly brought me back to Byron, Maine at my grandfather’s house. Byron is a very small town in western Maine on top of a mountain. From his house, we could see down Cous Canyon to the Swift River where we all learned how to swim. The neighborhood children and I would play all over that mountain, up and down the logging roads, and to the cliff edge and back. There are few memories I cherish more than my relatively flawless time there. That’s not to say there are not dark memories there, because there are, but the golden moments of waking up to a full spread of breakfast, playing tag in the late-1600’s cemetery next door, and riding bikes all over the mountain blind me from most of those memories.
And now, here I am in adulthood, twenty-some-odd years later, with a wood stove again and able to make my own memories. What a way to start a new life! I live in close to my dream spot without having to own it and pay for repairs. And I have a wood stove. How lucky am I?