Wednesday, December 23, 2009

The language of fire

I rise early to find that the fire is still warm, the wall behind it, still warm and in the ashes bright embers glow. I feed the cats. I feed the fire. First with the fire, small pieces of card then tiny twigs and scraps of bark. Life and light and warmth begin to dance from it as kindling and the smallest logs are fed and flames dance. And all the while cats twine around, wondering why this creature is being fed first.
Yesterday Jude came round. Jude, who has had a log burner for years and was telling me how it was possible to keep one going all night. All I could say was, I tried but I can’t. Doesn’t matter what I do. And she told me how you stack it up then close down the air feeds, and I said yes, I had tried, but it just went out. So, last night I tried. This morning, the house still warm, without the chill of winter at its heart, the fire a sleeping animal waiting to be woken.
Listen more, talk less. A lesson I keep reminding myself I need to do.
But at least I listened enough this time. Thanks Jude.

I love the language of fires; wood, ember, kindling, smoke, spark, flame, warmth, ash.



  1. Hi From Northern Canada, we ,, our family burn firewood from our property as our heat source and have for 38 years now .It warms you 3 times.One when you cut it down, twice while stacking and again when burning.Our fire never goes out after October and its like feeding and tending a living thing, very comforting in more than one way.Its a powerful friend that must be shown respect.It is the heart of our home.

  2. Hi Jackie, I love your artwork and would like to subscribe to your blog but when I click on the subscribe link on your blog AND in my browser I get taken to Facebook - I'm not a member and don't want to be at the moment - is this something you have set up? Is there any way I can subscribe direct without going via Facebook?


    and a merry, cosy, indulgent holiday to you


  3. I don't understand why that should happen. I just tried it and clicked on the Google Follow button and it went to the right place. I don't go anywhere near facebook at the moment as it hates me and my browser as I have an old version of firefox. Facebook looks so strange in it and doesn't work properly. So, all I can suggest is to press your refresh button on your browser and then click the little coloured g-follow button and see what happens. Not something I have set up at all. Hope it works.

  4. It is much more inspiring to get out of bed in winter when there is warmth somewhere in the heart of the house. The act of coaxing the coals to life, watching the fire grow and feeling the circle of heat enlarge, somehow reminds us of the generations who have done this since time began. But, cats being who they are, do not wait patiently for what they want NOW.