15 February 2020

Primordial man makes controlled fire

Cold morning today; woke up to 3 F. Made coffee, lit woodstove, sat in rocking chair and browsed laptop while observing flames, warming feet, and periodically getting up to check attached thermometer and adjust air intake as appropriate. It seemed the thing that needed to be done when I saw the outdoor temperature. Technology and fine control tweaking, yes, spanning eras from cast iron to catalyst, but there's a deeper and more fundamental attraction to maintaining the home fires which is hard to understand. Actively warming shelter for family, perhaps? Maybe it's also like the satisfaction some gain from grilling on barbecues; while I don't eat many of the primary grilled foods in any case, that process doesn't really grab me anyway. I do like woodburning, and the view of moving (though reassuringly constrained) flames is hypnotic, but I would find it burdensome to tend and attend as a primary heat source.