The Fireplace Hearth
I’m sitting on the rough red bricks that surround the fireplace with my back to the flames. It is mid-afternoon but might as well be twilight. What little light that reflects off the unbroken snow outside the sliding glass door is quickly swallowed up by the insulating curtains that stretch from ceiling to floor. This room is all about warmth and comfort. The walls are paneled in a reproduction of walnut, there is wall to wall carpeting on the floor, and all of the seating is upholstered, punctuated with squishy decorative pillows. A reader’s table stands between the plush recliner rocking chair and the nubby plaid love seat that also rocks. A cluster of pendants lamps allows the room’s occupants to choose the light that suits them best. There are magazines in the side racks of the table and library books stacked on its’ surface. Bookshelves flank the fireplace, supported by those same red bricks.
I am sitting on the hearth because that’s where the real warmth is. I’ve folded back the glass doors that are intended to keep sparks from flying into the room. They also intensify the heat. I wouldn’t be able to sit here and enjoy the warmth of the flames if the doors were closed, it would be too hot. Beyond the occasional snap of moisture vaporizing in the fireplace the room is quiet. No television (although there is one in the corner), no radio, nobody else in the house at the moment; just the scratching of my pen across the paper in my lap. This, truly, is bliss.