Friday, December 2, 2011

"A WARM BY THE FIRE"


“A WARM BY THE FIRE”

(MRS. CRATCHIT, DICKENS' CHRISTMAS CAROL)


Today’s kids are missing
something
In their centrally-heated,
thermostatic world.

... the shock of
blasting awake in
a freezing room –
ice thick inside windows –

... of pulling cold robes
under the blankets
to body-warm
them
before undressing and
re-dressing
all while hardly moving the
blankets –
a lost talent.

... of hanging ice-frozen,
line-“dried” clothes
over the stove
water dripping
sizzling on
hot iron.

... of (sometimes) lolling
in bed
long enough to feel
heat float through
floor registers
and slowly turn the room
from ice to nice.

Campfire mornings remind me
how fortunate I am
to live in a
centrally heated
thermostatic world.

==============================================
A few years ago, Dave and I were camping for a couple nights at Tettagouche Minnesota State Park at the North Shore of Superior. In October. Forgot extra blankets. Forgot how cold it would be near the Lake in the Fall. Dave would get up earlier than I, and start a campfire. When the warmth began to penetrate the area a bit, I'd pop out of bed and rush to the fire, turning and turning to warm all sides of my body, hoping it would penetrate to the inside and release the frozen portions of my bones and muscles.

While standing there, this thought hit me, and I grabbed a piece of paper and wrote the poem. Bet some of you will truly understand this bit of reality.

2 comments:

S. Etole said...

I like this! And can remember doing these very things as well as scorching my coat standing too close to the wood-burning stove in the country schoolhouse trying to get warm. {On second thought this makes me feel a wee bit ancient!}

A Joyful Noise said...

I certainly do understand. Our old home place had a floor furnace that heated a couple rooms downstairs. Mom did not keep the heater on at night, and it did get very cold upstairs where us kids slept. I also remember camping in the cold. WOW this post brought back memories.