I needed something to anchor me and came to realise that I craved a fire. Small dog knew something was afoot and followed me closely as I sought out the kindling. It had stood in a wicker basket in the porch all summer long and so, I was confident that I would have no problem in setting it alight. The night had drawn in more quickly than I anticipated. Dark clouds loomed and I pulled the curtains. It might have caused a brief sense of loss if I allowed it to, a verge on a depression, a reluctance to accept the incoming season that was already half way there anyway. Whatever, I decided to make the best of it.
I had not gone near the woodstove in months. When I opened the small glass door it creaked from the hinges. I placed some firelighters on the grill and piled them high with the dry kindling and set it alight. I shut the glass door. Small dog cuddled on my lap and we both watched the wood crackle and roar up the flue. I thought about going outside to watch the white smoke curl and furl itself into the atmosphere but I was too cosy to do so. I could hear H strumming his guitar in another room and my young son, falling into an occasional whistle as he did his homework. A clock ticked the time of fools. I felt happier than I had for a while now.
And there was nothing at all to prevent something otherwise. I suppose what you choose to do is exactly what you do at any given time.
But the flue must have been cold because the fire floundered after the initial, glorious blaze. I found that I had to work hard to rekindle it. I added more kindling but it only drowned out the air and I opened up the flue thinking it was too narrow. I watched with Small dog and wondered what to do and then I realised how simple the solution was. I just opened up the glass door and allowed a little bit of myself in and a tiny bit of Small dog and all the elements in the room, the clock and the cushions and the photographs and the shawl and the lamp and the cabinet of old memories and books and seashells and stones and mirrors and blue glass. And then the fire sparked and reformed and H came in and put Small dog down beside the stove on a deep blue cushion and he looked happy that the fire was going and I thought well, the fire won't go out, for a while at least. And it is so warm and welcoming and I wish you, the reader of my thoughts, could sit beside me on this night, with a glass of Old Grouse to warm the blood and lure up a long old chat into the night ahead. Because these things matter. They have to.