Wood burning firplaces are a tricky thing for us. Living in the county part of New York, the part where our trees are taller than our buildings, means that as soon as the air takes a small dip, the wood stoves and fireplaces are in full swing.
We grew up with a wood stove, so the smell brings back happy memories of that scent filling the air reminds us of live in a safe place. It is a comforting smell, until it isn’t. Without any warning, that same happy memory smell can become triggery, like someone flipping a switch with no warning, and that same smell brings panic and anxiety along with a flood of house fire memories.
It was not our home that was lost in that fire, but was a fire that took 3 cousins and an Uncle with it. We had a dream about that fire the night that it happened, and it was the phone ringing that woke us. That phone call was to tell us about the fire. We thought we were still stuck in that nightmare, and when we realized we were infact awake, we fainted.
We spent several weeks helping to walk through the rubble that was left behind, to try and salvage anything that might have been able to be saved. There was not much, but the few things that were found are still treasured by our Aunt and 2 cousins that survived. The smell of burnt wood was so strong, it clung to our clothes so badly just walking through the debris, that we had to wash them twice just to get the smell out.
Now, we inhale that smell deeply and hold on to the happy for as long as we can, because we know that the next breath could bring the dark with it.
Hold on to the happy for as long as you can, and have a merry Wintertide !
The Green Door – Weshler Cabin
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