Fire Gazing

We’ve had an usually cold winter so far here in Austin. It snowed twice in December – I can’t remember that happening since I moved here. Every couple of years we get a dusting of snow once during the winter. This year the last few days of 2017 saw a hard freeze that extended into the first week of 2018.

I’m not particularly fond of cold, though I do like seeing snow and participating in winter activities like skiing and ice skating. That’s one of the reasons I moved away from Nebraska and Kansas.

What I do like about cold weather is that it gives me a chance to use my fireplace. A couple of logs (even if they’re fake store bought fire logs) lasts all afternoon or evening. There’s something about gazing at a fire on the hearth.  It makes me content to just sit and let my mind wander. I might think about people I know and miss, or about story ideas. I might think about the future or the past. Or I might just let my mind relax and wander where it will.

In the midst of cold that freezes body, mind, and soul, watching a fire warms me, giving motion and impetus to thoughts, feelings, and motivations. There’s a visceral connection to  other people that goes all the way back to times when fire meant safety and food and comfort.

And sometimes the fire is simply beautiful, in and of itself.

What do you see in the flames?