Why it seems to only happen when it rains, you have no idea.

Well, maybe that isn’t totally accurate. You have a few thoughts on it, but it doesn’t really matter. And quite honestly no one else would ever understand, not really, so it’s of no consequence.

In the winter, when it snows, it doesn’t feel the same at all. Perhaps, because it’s just too cold, and the cold can be so invasive, cruelly invasive. All that bundling up. It’s just not the same.

And perhaps it’s because in the snow you would leave behind footprints, evidence of your existence, and your fertile mind has made another adjustment to facilitate self-preservation, to hunker down, to hibernate under the soft loam of rich woodland soil and wait for the warmer weather.

In the winter, you like to closet yourself. Push the doors tight against the gusting winds and freezing draughts, frame the windows in heavy drapes so you may observe the drifting white fall of chiffon snow without actually feeling its frigid caress.

It’s a gentle notion to watch the sweep of wind-driven flurries, and listen to the crystalline glissandos of sleet tinkling against the glass, and all without suffering the needles of icy pain piercing your skin.

In the winter, you like to build a fire in the wood stove and kneel before it to warm your hands. You like crumpling the old news and tossing it onto the blackened, ash-stuccoed iron grate and building little pyres of kindling over it.

You arrange them, just so, tiny wooden structures, like frail stick houses that a huffing, puffing big, bad wolf might blow down without a second thought. What a silly tale; fire is so much more effective, so effortless by comparison, and so much more gratifying.

You clasp the box of wooden matches in one hand. Sometimes, you think of them as little Lucifer’s, a name by which they’re still known, the reason for such a name being apparent to anyone familiar with brimstone, black magic and the fires of hell.

God and his minions, or are they cohorts? delightfully inventive in their destructive tortures. They know how to create and feed the punishing flames.

The match rasping against the encrusted side of the box offers a gritty, satisfying sound and the flaring tip excites you. You gasp every time kindling ignites.

You peer into the licking lap of the infant flames, grip the poker and jab at the dry fuel. It pops and snaps. You imagine piles of brittle old bones being crushed underfoot in some ancient, cavernous crypt.

As the inferno expands, waves of heat envelope you. The fire crackles with the intensity of ravenous, snapping jaws and you’re mesmerized by the darting orange and yellow tongues licking at the hapless wood, devouring it.

The little wooden house you’d carefully build is now in ruins, but the fire is alive, searching, hungry for more and begging to be fed.

continued…