Hearth of red and gold


Reflections by a Fire

On moving into an old house in New Hampshire

Fire is a good companion for the mind;
Here in this room, mellowed by sunlight, kind
After yesterday’s thrall of rain and dark,
I watch the fire and feel some warm thoughts spark …

May Sarton
Collected Poems

A good walk on a cool grey afternoon, coupled with thoughts of some more baked apples for supper, have resulted in the lighting of my wood stove and plans for that most lovely of autumnal occupations: hot coffee, buttered scones and books beside the fire. Sometime yesterday I was speaking with a friend about the power of evocation. Oh so very much is evoked and re-membered by a warm ash-burning hearth of red and gold. And ‘warm thoughts spark …’

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What’s to be done …?


What’s to be done on a misty, rainy day in Edinburgh?

Have you finished your housework and combed your hair?


Then I’d settle for warm and dry if I were you. Letters and some catch-up emails, perhaps. And how about coffee, biscuits and a lovely long read near your window – so you can watch the mist and rain too?

You know, you’re an inspiration. Thank you. Warm. Dry. Watching the haar. Several books on the go on my Kindle. That’s exactly what I’m going to do …


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Literary observers

Photo at Pexels

without a book I
might not look as deeply at
others’ witnessing

The light on the page often corresponds with the warming illumination within – you’ll know the feeling.

Where in the world would I be without access to books (and – just as thankfully – to blogs these days) and the observation of, and witnessing to life that I encounter daily in others’ considered words and between lines; in sketched images, photography, and world-class art; in delightful etymological rabbit holes; between a book’s covers and its silent spaces?

In my library I keep close company with an extraordinary community of writers through the ages, some ancient, many modern, all bearing gifts – and I am forever grateful to each and all who introduced me to them …

I see …

My elder granddaughter waves her fairy-wand, and sometimes magic happens. My grandson runs to bring a book, eager to tell me of worlds between its covers. And my youngest granddaughter delights in a colourful child’s play tent, where there are corners to look around, and windows, and (an open) door. Each reveals something of inner and outer life. The little ones seem to strike the balance just about right – and to know, somehow, that we all need to live some of our time in the one world the better to live in the other.

Yes. I see.