First Fire

Getting the first fire going in the morning is a pleasantly urgent daily task. Winter chill in the house never drops much overnight but it's cold enough when I wake up long before dawn to want to get a blaze up and stand very near it warming my rear end while sipping a hot cup of something equally warming and enjoyable. Sometimes I don't even bother to turn on the lights to work on starting the fire, then basking in nothing but its invisible warmth and flickering, golden glow.

A new day. What to do next has long since been decided the previous night or several days, weeks, months ago depending on which projects are in the works and which are most pressing. But for the moment, absorbing swelling warmth of the morning fire is project enough. My butt is toasting nicely. The only sound in the house is the crackle and low-frequency wumph wumph of flames struggling to escape the firebox.


A shrew skitters across the living room floor at the verge of the fire's dancing light.