It was the lone light in the night. A single spot of warmth. We hovered around it, pressing close, shaking and holding out mittened hands over its heat. Behind us the darkness nudged us closer. The cold kept us together. Together they corralled us around the fire, where we made a friendly circle of flushed faces and sparkling eyes, fire dancing in pairs of irises.

I watch the heart of the fire go blue. I don’t know if it’s a trick of watching the firelight for too long, or if it’s really happening, and I don’t care – I just like the way it looks. A hypnotic and mesmerizing effect, it entrances the senses, and though the iciness laps at our backs and lassoes our feet, we stand there listening to the crackling of the wood, the dogged rush of the wind, the muffled laughter through scarves. This is how we get through fall.

Winter will be another story.

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