It wasn’t really on the list,
but why not take, I thought, an hour or so
to shift some things in the garage.
It was a good excuse to start an outdoor fire,
to warm my hands between each shifting shift.
Except, I spent more time beside the fire pit
than working hard on the garage.
I’d snagged some cedar boughs:
still green, they crackled gleefully.
The fence slats, old and dry, burned quick and bright.
I added locust logs, cut off of our own tree.
The flames cavorted, and my thoughts went dancing, too.
Together flame and mind, like sunspots, flickered up
and died away again.
I couldn’t tell you more than that.
But isn’t that a part of why we fire-stare,
to be entranced, and let all purpose go?
I can say, though, that tidying up can wait.
A winter afternoon by outdoor fire,
chilled without but warmed within,
is more rewarding than a neat garage.
Photo provided by Cornell Cooperative Extension of Warren County/Almanack archive