cabin stories
Cabin Stories
Building, Tools & Tricks
Photo Gallery


6 September 2012 | Category: Stories | Author: Clare

It's that time again.

Coming home from work tonight, I pushed open the door to the cabin, and shivered.

For the first time in as long as I can remember, without thinking, I knelt down in front of the stove and set about lighting a fire.

Bizarre to think that not so long ago, it was just another part of the fabric of life out here.

It hasn't been now for 5 months.

Huddled in a ball on the couch, wrapped in a tartan shawl, and sipping warm milk greedily, my appetite is tempered only by the desire to make it last as long as possible in an effort to keep my hands warm.

There may be another short burst of summer before we relinquish the warm days and long nights, but as the evenings continue to creep closer, and the cool temperatures become more the norm than not, it is inevitable that we embrace fall, and start looking toward winter.

I find myself lost in the fire, staring at the flames behind the glass. The crackling and chatter of the flames, a gentle distraction, lulling you into a kind of oblivion.

I wonder how many philosophy's were thought of, how many ideas germinated, how many complicated notions clarified. How many relationships developed, friendships born, heartache eased by the side of a fire somewhere?

The warmth, reassurance and general sense of well being giving us the freedom to let our thoughts wander around.

I am curious about that. I assume that it has something to do with the fact that fire is capable of occupying the majority of our senses. We can feel the heat it resonates, we can hear it, we can arguably smell it, and without question it is visually stimulating.

Perhaps therein lies it's success at liberating our minds from the physical, and letting them cast around, unexpectedly free to theorise, contemplate.

Emotionally it has to be more straightforward than that. Fire provided the meeting place, the forum if you will for social interaction. There was no hiding, no way around it, you had to commune, to be together, to stay warm around this social hub.

Is there an alternative to this, given the overwhelming majority of heating systems, at least in the West, are no longer based on openly burning some form of fuel. The infrastructure is conveniently disguised behind walls, under floors, hidden from our general cognisance, not only limiting our appreciation, but allowing the family, community to disperse into their own miniature worlds; this critical part of our survival shaking off the romanticism innately part of the traditional methods.

What replaces that unavoidable coming together that would have existed before? Just more distance, more independence, less community?

Really interesting connotations for so many things.

No wonder people can really get behind a bonfire :).

Assuming we have a fair stab at autumn time, it could be as much as a month of cool mornings, warm days, and chilly evenings.

The relative absence of mosquitoes, the general sense of buckling down, and the excitement that always accompanies the preparation for winter for me, make this probably my favourite time of year. The warmth of the day is a blessing not a curse as thaws you from the morning's endeavours. The cool of night is a reprieve from the day, and so the cycle continues.

But I wonder at the longevity of fall. It feels to me like this year the marriage of enviable characteristics will be short lived.

And so you grit your teeth a little, and firm up your stomach.

It takes some courage to face the prospect of winter here. Not just in the Rockies in general, but out here in particular.

The inevitable slow, soft, quiet walks to and from the gate; the packing of supplies through gentle powder, blizzards, freezing rain.

The general fatigue that grabs you around month 3 or 4 of winter; the numbing of everything but the most critical thoughts as you make your way through the fresh carpet of snow with temperatures hovering around 30 below.

Such a contrast; in some ways, such a bizarre thought.

Impossible to imagine, and yet you know with certainty it will come.

That strange dichotomy seems to accompany many things that make up the tapestry of life out here. An inability to imagine what cannot be denied.

Perhaps this kind of environment lends itself well to people learning to take leaps of faith, be them religious, in love, in life, whatever.

Curious thought. If there is any truth to that, I hope I can spend long enough out here for it to rub off on me.

What an awesome place to be. It is wonderful; everything about it.

Comments for: Fire

Send a new comment

Send a new comment