I’m plopped down in front of our fireplace as I write this, basking in its warm glow and siphoning off the stress of the day. I’m happy and content … but it’s taken me 8 long years to get here.
You see, I have a love/hate relationship with fire. There is no grey area … just a deep love and a deep loathing. Fires have been part of some of my happiest memories and most tragic ones. So my psyche is not capable of assigning fire a casual spot in my consciousness. Fire is only linked to pleasure or pain.
As a child and a 20-something … I spent countless hours camping. A blazing fire was always part of those wonderful weekends at the lake or in the mountains. A day hiking, fishing or boating was capped with cooking over the campfire or gathering around it to sing songs. There’s something mesmerizing and magical about watching a fire crackle at your campsite. That’s the pleasing part of fire.
The painful part started in January 2006 when a fire destroyed our home. I grew to hate everything about fire…the smell, the destruction and the fury. The blaze began when my husband and I were out in California covering the Longhorns in the National Championship. The phone in our hotel room rang in the middle of the night. That’s never a good sign. The overnight assignments editor at KEYE delivered the heartbreaking news that our house was on fire. Not much was left when we pulled into our driveway the next day. The biggest loss was our beloved cat. Our dog was rescued off the back deck. Loving friends and family and even many strangers helped guide us through those very dark days. We also learned very quickly that “stuff” really isn’t important. When you lose all of your “stuff” in a fire, but the people you love are alive and well … then you truly understand the insignificance of things.
Sometimes our house fire seems like decades ago. Other times … it feels like yesterday. But, I’ve apparently healed from the experience enough to welcome an open flame back into our home. In fact, I’m delighted Santa delivered on his promise to bring me gas logs for Christmas and put our empty fireplace to use …warming our hearts and home, again. The yellow glow still evokes strong emotions, thankfully, right now, they are all happy ones.