there is something about firsts. a novelty. and it was no different the first night – a week or so ago – when we lit the wood burning stove in our littlehouse. the first fire of fall. excited, we watched as the fire got hotter and the bigger pieces of wood started to catch. as it all started to be aflame, the chill, that a grey misty fog, an angry lake and a stormy day had created, left the littlehouse. we sank into the new warmth of the living room, our feet up and grins of satisfied appreciation on our faces, staring into the dancing fire, grateful for its presence. at home we have a fireplace inside, and a chiminea on our patio, but no wood burning stove. it’s a novelty for us.
how many times will it be before getting wood for the stove and starting the fire will not be as gleeful? how many times before we don’t just sit with our feet up and stare into those flames? how many times before we take it for granted, this divine little maker of fire and warmth? how many times before the novelty wears off?
i once read a card i found quoting marcel proust, “the real voyage of discovery consists not in seeing new sights, but in looking with new eyes.”
because the novelty does wear off. in all arenas, i suppose. not just in how you see others, but also in how others see you. suddenly it is forgotten what IT was like before you (whether IT is a home, a relationship, a community, a work environment). instead, the novelty has faded and so has the ‘before’. suddenly, you – in any of those places – are just a bean counter, a placeholder, and the novelty of you, for we are all novel, is no longer a matter of interest or value. instead, all becomes black and white, the relationship of you to those places – a home, a relationship, a community or a work environment. i wonder what we are all missing with our under-appreciative eyes. i wonder what they are all missing with their under-appreciative eyes. the novelty is gone. and you have thus become dispensable, all for the lack of new eyes. wow. ouch.
we need take stock of what is around us and how it all works together. before it is gone. we need remember that -in every arena- we should appreciate each other – as if it was the first fire of the season.
the second time we lit the stove, we weren’t quite as gleeful when the flame caught. and the stove heated up the room a little too much, making