I’ve just come from the hearth in my living room, where I thoroughly enjoyed a brief and beautiful fire. It would have been as lovely if I’d stayed only ten minutes, or I could also still be sitting there as the flames dwindle and coals gleam. I don’t often sit by the fireside, because when I make a fire I want to stay beside it for hours – not out of fear it will spread if left unattended, but just because I love everything about the fire. I have thought that I seldom have time to just sit there for hours, so there’s no point in building a fire unless that’s what I’m going to do.
Today, having nothing to burn but a few small twigs and branches, I thought it a shame I couldn’t enjoy a nice fire on a dreary, cold day. Then I remembered to stop and ask myself, “Is that true?” Well, I could certainly light some sticks on fire and love the patterns in the flames and the comfortable warmth for as long as it lasted. There’s no perfect length of time for a fire.
I imagine this will seem ridiculously self-evident to many, but this afternoon I learned (again) that it isn’t necessary or desirable to wait until conditions are just right. I considered the million times I’ve allowed this lack of perfect circumstance to prevent my enjoyment or my accomplishment. I hope to remember the pleasure of a twenty-minute fire the next time I overlook the opportunity that presents itself in the moment.