On dark days I love to close the heavy red velvet curtains over the glass doors to the patio and light up my wee fireplace. A low library table harbors a variety of candles and containers for tea lights, most of which I’ve found in thrift shops. Then I stretch out on the sofa across the room and with soft pillows propping me up, I soak up the pleasure. If I had a fireplace like some I’ve had before I’d be watching that, but never mind, there are some benefits to my present one. It’s not as exciting as a crackling wood fire, true, and it doesn’t change from leaping flames to glowing embers, but there are no ashes to clean up, no sooty chimney, no hauling in wood. I find my wee fireplace nearly as enjoyable as any of its predecessors. I watch the various ways each candle burns, and how its holder or container gives distinctive artistry to light.
Before I dig into the daily newspaper I just retrieved from the front door and tackle the world and its problems I watch my wee fireplace and congratulate each little flame. I don’t need music or anything but the gentle ticking of the grandfather clock and its occasional chime to play on my senses. It is enough to look around the room, soak up its ambience and count my blessings. Especially, I don’t need the TV at a time like this.
As I watch each tiny flame seems to have its own identity, dance to its own music and shine its own friendly smile at me from across the room. I actually just saw one of them laugh! I think it saw itself in the mirror beside the table. But with all their illuminations the “talk” of my candles does not intrude, disturb or drum on the auditory senses. Instead it reminds me of how fortunate I am, and yes, how smart I’ve become to take out time to sit by and just soak up my blessings. I don’t have to chase away worrisome thoughts because I’ve left no door unlocked in my mind for them to enter.
My brother has a sign posted near his desk that says, “OLD AGE IS NOT FOR SISSIES.” I know what that means and I’m determined not to be or become a sissy in my old age. If I have complaints I won’t fight them or dignify them with complaining, even to myself. An hour or two in a darkened room beside my wee fireplace can cure them. I’ll keep company with the angels here and think of all the other so-called oldsters who, this very day, are lucky enough to be doing the same.