The Joy of a Fireplace

There is something magical about having an open fireplace. The dancing of flames, the crackling and popping of wood being gradually eaten away, and the soft ebbing glow of coals dying in the darkness of a house in the claws of winter.

The warmth that a fire breathes is not just a warmth you can feel deep into your skin, but it’s also a warmth that chases away loneliness and pain. Something about having a fire going in my house keeps at bay all the things dark nights can sometimes bring about. It is a truly marvelous things, and I highly enjoy the wonderful pleasure of having an open fireplace.

It is a lot of work – I will admit to that.
Buying wood, chopping wood, constantly cleaning ash. It takes a good solid forty-five minutes to get everything ready before I can even start the fire.

That’s not mentioning the amount of time I spent in Summer preparing for Winter. I spent many hours preparing boxes, upon boxes of gathered sticks to use as kinderling and I am VERY glad I did. I have needed all of them to keep me going.

But you know what, when I walk into my shed and pick up another box I prepared in Summer, I smile to myself, so happy that I took the time and effort to be ready for the Winter.

I am sure it will not be forever. Perhaps someday I might get to busy to manage a fireplace – who knows – part of me actually hopes that will happen. But for now, I am so grateful to have the opportunity to enjoy such a simple, fulfilling pleasure that brings me so much joy.

Midnight. The fire is left to slowly fade. The cat is all that walks in the flickering light.

Your opinion is irrelevant, so just live.

So it’s been a couple weeks that I’ve been off Twitter now and it’s been interesting.

I’ve appreciated it. I’ve appreciated the peace. No more constant hammering in my skull like a woodpecker, telling me who, what and how I should be – that I am not worthy due to my thoughts and opinions.
I am glad to not have such an influence in my life. Maybe I shall return – maybe not.

Of course, I haven’t entirely left social media – I still have Facebook, which I find rather vital for keeping up with friends and family – however – even Facebook can be like this buzzing bee threatening to sting you. I’m considering nuking it from my phone ^_^;

I scroll through facebook and I see posts by people commenting on something I find interesting, or something I might disagree with – perhaps something regarding my faith, or Australia, or ethics, or writing or feminism, or identity politics – just something – and I sit for awhile contemplating the post and what I might say, or how I might respond.
And I’ve noticed a thought crossing through my mind more and more.
“Your opinion is irrelevant, so just live.”

Perhaps it’s because I liked a stupid meme (or something I considered stupid and irrelevant) that a friend told me I should never have liked – and then began to police me and everything I said, did, liked and enjoyed – which ended up ruining that friendship. Perhaps I feel like I am caged in, unable to say anything and therefore: “My opinion is irrelevant.”

And it isn’t that my opinion is actually irrelevant – it’s that I’ve sort of come to this realisation that the things I want are worth so much more. They’re outside of a digital realm, they’re outside of gaming, of anime, of fantasy and science fiction. They’re “reality”. And while I will always retain the heart of wonder, a heart that delights in the fantastical – I’ve “grown up”. I am Ariel stepping out of the ocean, without a voice, trying to find something on the land.

Am I ever going to find the ‘grown-up’ things I seek outside of the ocean that I loved? I don’t know. But I am willing to accept that I am on a road moving forward – there are going to be so many rough patches, but, I’ve made landfall. Maybe someday I’ll find my voice again.