Mostly cloudy but temperatures above freezing. I could really smell the river as I walked Bibi at Paradise Spring. The river geese were honking and congregating on the ice islands. Some of them were swimming in the current. The river is higher than normal and the current is quick. I love that river smell.
Cleaned out my closet and got rid of a lot of clothes. I’m intentionally downsizing the amount of stuff that I own. It’s a constant battle. People are always bringing new things into the house. Not consumable items like food. We had Christmas and the annual commercialization thereof. That means a lot of new stuff came in, in the form of gifts. Like any good hobbit, I like giving and getting gifts. I’m guilty of it quite often. But then you’re left with more stuff with which to contend. If you have to get me a gift, please make it something consumable, or better yet, make it an experience. Give me an experience I never would have had otherwise. Bring your guitar or violin and sing or play me a song. Pound on my door early on a perfect morning, have coffee in hand and sit with me on the back porch to watch the sunrise. Or give me a coupon worth one evening sitting around your fire pit with a glass of bourbon or an ice-cold beer. And really talk to me. About the important stuff. The eternal stuff. Things of wonder or great importance. Or just stare into the embers with me.
That reminds me that I need to get some ashes from Dad’s fire pit to start a tradition of “friendship ashes” in the family. Have somebody make a small vial or container that holds the “heart of fire” and each time you share them at a campfire or fire pit gathering with friends, especially if there are new friends, at some point in the course of the evening, give the short memorial and remember past fires with friends and family. Tell anyone sharing the fire with you that, now that they’ve drawn heat from your fire, the fire that has warmed us all, we share a connection. It does not make us family. It may not make us friends. But for the rest of your life you will remember this fire. This fellowship. The faces lit by the orange flames. The stories and the laughter. You will carry it in your heart to the grave, and into what lies beyond the grave. Tonight we are at peace with one another, and at least for this hour, life is good. ***