Saturday, January 5, 2013

Fire Therapy

When I inevitably get up at some point in the night, one of the things that I do is to stoke or rebuild the fire in our fireplace. We have a wood stove insert in the fireplace with a blower and use it to supplement the heat in our home. There's something very therapeutic about performing this nightly task. The house is dark and the living room is lit by the orange glow of the fire. The warm radiation from it feels good against the night chill. The house is quiet and I have it all to myself, an opportunity to gather my thoughts for better or for worse. (This is when most of these blog posts are written.)

Usually when I get up, I have some measure of pain in my legs, hips, and lower back, mostly from having just lie in one position for several hours. These pains tend to defy the medication and feel more like a pinched nerve kind of thing. It tends to be along the sciatic nerve and I've developed some sensitivity on the bony part of my buttocks when I sit down on a hard surface. However I've found the best way to get relief from this pain is to sit there on the hardwood floor in front of the fire and stretch it all out. I'll start by sitting cross-legged against the hearth while I work the fire back to life, then I'll move back a little and do runner's stretches on the floor while feeling the heat on my side.

There's something in the act itself that gives me a measure of hope to keep the fire going. There are always at least a few coals left and I refuse to use matches or fire starters to get it going again. I prefer to put the new wood on the coals and use the bellows to breath life back into the fire, to watch it build from nothing into a roaring inferno. It's my own personal Eternal Flame. Sometimes the wood isn't very cooperative and so patience is required to bring it around, much like some of the pains I'm enduring.

Usually by the time I've finished stretching and the pain has subsided, the fire by that time has re-established itself. I then turn down the flue so that the log will burn slow enough to warm the house until I wake up next, and then go back to bed. I do repeat this operation throughout the day as needed, but there's something about this midnight tending of the fire that is special to me and hopefully by the time the season has changed such that it's no longer necessary, this session will no longer be necessary for me either.

1 comment:

  1. You're going to whip this things ass. Whatever you need. Support. Someone to talk to. A shoulder. A sounding board. Just an emotional release. You have all of us here for you man. You have always been one of the strongest men I have ever known. You WILL win this battle. For you. For Stacey. For those little girls. You. Will. Win.

    Love you my brother.