I am sitting in front of the fireplace here in Los Angeles, enjoying the fire. The grandfather clock is ticking rhythmically, cars are racing up and down the street outside, and whatever Ray is watching on television upstairs periodically features someone singing snippets of a song. (I think I heard a verse of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah a minute ago.) Rachael is in her room, Cordelia (our corgi) is stretched out on the wingback here in the living room with me, Frankie (our terrier) is no doubt curled up on our bed, and now I hear Ray rustling around in the kitchen.

I love sitting in front of this fireplace looking at the fire. I am a fireplace kind of gal. The warmth, the flickering orange flames, the smoke rising up into the chimney, yes, these represent pure comfort to me. I have spent many an evening in this house in the winter relaxed and staring into the flames of a fire. I also love seeing the dark-red glow of coals.

I must admit a penchant for campfires as well. We build them often in our fire pit up at the orange grove in Ojai. I have many happy memories of sitting with my family and our friends around that campfire, laughing and telling stories.

Fire. A part of our collective memory since the time of early humans. They too benefitted from its warmth and light. They too stared at those orange flames. Fire changed the nature of their lives and then of ours. Fire, both creator and destroyer, is an elemental part of our existence.

I am grateful for the comfort that fire brings to me. Being near a welcoming fire feels like home.

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