This is taken from a writing prompt from a Fall Writing Retreat Playdate I attended. The prompt: Think of a place where you feel perfectly content.
In Front of My Fireplace
Winter is not my favorite season. I don’t like to be cold. At all. I will tell you, though, that winter holds my perfect moments. Moments in front of my fireplace.
Mason will curl himself onto my lap, while Michael bops around talking and talking. Michael, with all of his beautiful energy, jumps on the mini-trampoline, he comes over to lean on me at times, and then walks off again, to move his energy all around the living room.
There is no place to go. There is nothing to do. Ahhh, nothing to do except to roast the perfect marshmallow. Mason and I have so much patience. We could sit for hours on end with our marshmallow sticks topped with two marshmallows (we almost never roast just one at a time), just gazing at the fire. Turning the marshmallows this way and that, slowly round and round for the perfect browning color. Michael doesn’t have the patience for such still work. Good. I get to roast his marshmallows for him. Score for me.
It’s the most important and productive nonwork in the moment. My fingers are all sticky, which makes it that much more perfect. At least one of my fingers is dotted with black soot from tending to the fire. And my pyromaniacal tendencies get quenched with hours of log burning fire that I get to start and tend to. It doesn’t get too hot either, except if we can only find very short kabob sticks for roasting. Then we have to strategically place our hands just outside the fireplace in order to get the perfectly roasted marshmallow. Know this, our nonwork act of camp side fire roasting of marshmallows is an art form all its own. This is not your typical set the marshmallow on fire, blow it out, and eat the charred sugar glob. This is watch the marshmallow until it is the perfect golden brown on all sides with the middle cooked just so that it is getting wobbly on the stick. Ahhh, perfection, almost every time.
Mason and I have a new trick now too. He places one sheet of newspaper on the fire and we watch with entranced gazes as the fire WHOOSHES instantly into a tall roaring flame and then back down again. I always say, because this happens now quite often, “This probably isn’t my best Mommy decision, but I love the fire, so as long as we’re all here and safe, it’s OK.” They both smile, knowing my Mommy choices are sometimes questionable.
I’m comforted to complete peace in front of our fire, with Mason curled on my lap and Michael free to roam and talk all he wants. Mason and I are used to being quiet. The fire is also speaking to us. The perfect moment was created by the three of us, plus the fire, plus the kitties, and I will savor it for as long as I can. Which is who-cares-how-long . . . nobody cares. Perfection.