Monday, October 8, 2012

Keep the Fire Burning

I poured my Saturday morning coffee and settled into the recliner. Reese was still asleep and Matt had already left to work on the farm. I stared out the window, watching the sun rise over the treetops. In the corner of our yard, two empty lawn chairs faced the stone fire ring. Tiny strands of smoke rose intermittently from the center of the circle, the final remnants of the previous night.

Just ten hours earlier, Matt went outside to light a fire while I put Reese to bed. I waited for the sound of rustling bed sheets to fade away before joining my husband beneath the stars for a much-needed night of reconnection. Pulling our chairs in close, we took turns tossing in empty pizza boxes and pieces of shredded mail. The warmth enveloped us, creating a shield against the chill of the night. The heat pressed into our cheeks, forcing us to inch our chairs backward as we fed the flames. 

Alone in the dark, we reunited with the couple we were seven years ago, before full-time jobs, children, and mortgage payments began chipping away at our time, energy, and patience for each other. With no clock to remind us of the hour, we rekindled past memories, laughing as if we didn't already know the end of each story. We talked late into the night, ignoring our bodies’ pleas for sleep as we fed the flames of our marriage with laughter and simple presence.

Knowing the morning would come all too soon, we finally made our way back to the house. Behind us, the fire began its slow death. We didn’t even bother to fully extinguish the remaining flames. The lack of attention would be enough to seal its fate. Crawling into bed, we snuggled a little closer, held each other a little tighter, kissed a little longer…

Sitting in the recliner just a few hours later, I wondered how I would possibly muster the energy for a full day of toddler mayhem. Regret began crowding my thoughts as I silently scolded myself, you should have gone to bed earlier…

My inner voice suddenly quieted as I watched the fire take its final breaths, completing its descent from a beautiful burning blaze into a lifeless pile of ashes.

1 comment:

  1. Those kinds of nights are priceless and worth the loss of sleep. Dad and I just had one last week. We laughed so hard we had tears. We can still sit with no entertainment, just us, and talk and laugh the night away. Your spouse should be your best friend too.