Light My Fire

People ask me if I could live abroad again.

Yes, of course I could. I go do a few years in Dubai if I really had to.

Do I want to live abroad again – that’s a different question.

The answer is no.

I’ve done my travelling. I’ve lived in seven different countries and I waited a long time to get back home again.

One reason I could never leave is this house. My summerhouse, country house, whatever you want to call it, on Langeland.

There’s something about this island that tugs at my heartstrings, and this house has wrapped itself around me like an octopus.

When I’m away from it, I miss it. I wonder if it feels lonely sitting there all by itself, no laughter to warm its rooms. I couldn’t bear being all the way over in Dubai and unable to go there for a weekend.

I feel about this house, the way I made Anne feel about hers. Her desire to go home is real because it’s mine.

Yesterday was a bit of a milestone for me and my house.

I finally managed to get the fire lit. After many many failed attempts now and in November, I was determined. I stood in the kitchen after failed attempted no. x yesterday afternoon and it came down to one of three choices.

  1. We huddle under blankets and both catch colds
  2. I turn up the heating and risk running out of oil before they deliver again this week. Revert to option 1, just later in the week.
  3. I get the damn fire lit

Cavemen can light fires for god’s sake. They didn’t even have firelighters.

I remembered what my father told me I had to do. If I failed, I would try again. This time, the flames would dance for me. Not just on the firelighters and the local newspaper.

And they did.

We stayed warm, had tea and double chocolate chip cookies and played boardgames while the heat made its way through the house.

I showed my son that if you need to do something, it’s no good giving up or hoping someone else will do it for you. Lighting a fire may seem like a small task, but if we give up on the small ones, what will happen when we are confronted with the large ones?

Sometimes you have to go back to the beginning, remember what you were taught, and keep trying until you get it right. When you do, it’s worth it. When you’ve done it once, doing it again becomes much easier.

There will be another fire this afternoon. For the next round of boardgames.

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