Once upon a time,
I sat down by my fireplace enjoying the day. A Saturday morning, February 18, 2017; not too hot, not too cold; but, cool enough and wet enough for a light fire in the fireplace to take off the chill in the air.
Looking at the fireplace I see the mirror of my life in the broken and uneven hearth, built with my own hands, just like my life. I see all the ups and downs, all the incongruities, all the imperfections, and yet, I see the stability, the permanence, the strength of its character.
The stone mostly came from here, off the farm, with a little Tennessee field stone thrown in for help. It has one large lintel stone that covers the exposed face to my inner library, man cave! The mantel is a double cut log of solid oak, cut from the big tree that fell in the yard several years ago. It is facaded by its own bark and covered with Civil War medals from my younger days of re-enacting all over the South as a Confederate soldier.
The fire burns swiftly and brightly and warms the room with a sort of ethereal brilliance created no other way.
The air is filled with the sweet aroma of pipe tobacco, a nice Virginia, Ready Rubbed, Golden Sweet Pipe Tobacco. Fired up in a genuine Meerschaum Corn Cobb Pipe, just like General MacArthur smoked in World War II, in the Phillippines , when he landed at Manila. Only the stem is shorter. I do enjoy a good pipe smoke every so often!
In this world of seclusion, I find sanctuary from the daily grind and outside world. Solitude and tranquility surround me and enfold me in warm memories and distant times and even visions of the future. Everything in here has a meaning and a purpose. I am encompassed by more than a few thousand books of my favorite choosing and a plethora of memorabilia and souvenirs. Things from all over the world, from the depths of the Amazon Jungle to Guyana, South America, China, Cuba, The Caribbean Islands, Japan, Ireland, Scotland, Ghana, Africa, Europe, Canada, and all the United States of America. My family, collectively, have traveled pretty much all over the world and it has instilled in me just how big this old world really is and how still, there is no place like home!
Wow! What a rush, when you think about all of that and how all these myriad of things have formed and shaped your life! It’s a wonderful world even out there, as well as in here!
Hey, we need another log on the fire! Getting low! See ya next time!