April 10 2018

The Top Five Reasons Why You Need a Wood-Burning Fireplace

Fireside Writing

I live in an apartment with a wood burning fireplace and I love it.

Wood burning fireplace, not gas burning fireplace. This is important. Sorry gas fireplace people. It is not the same. Gas fireplaces suck. There is no wood fuel involved. There is no history. No skill.

The vibe is different.

There are five reasons why you need to have or build one for yourself.

One : It is badass and a fundamental element of our evolutionary history.

Fire gave us light, heat, and safety. It held the darkness at bay and drove off the monsters in the night. The flame was the center point to storytelling. Human beings are programmed for storytelling; as both story spinners and story listeners. We absorbed and passed on our history and moral lessons from stories, tales and conversations told around the fire.

The flames provided a means to get the most from our food – cooked food uses up less time (chewing raw meat ain’t easy and it’s hard on the digestion), destroys bacteria, and, not for anything, tastes better. See? Having a source of evolutionary history in your domicile is badass. It reminds you of your prehistoric origins. Never forget this. So, light your fire and get back to your caveman roots.

Two: The smell of wood smoke.

It is like having a campfire in your house. I love camping and integral to the camping experience is the ritual of the campfire. You locate deadfall trees and random, discarded wood (unless you purchase packs of wood or bring your own). Then, you reverently place the wood so that it is optimal for oxygen flow. Next, you strategically set your kindling. After that, you light it. In Boy Scouts we challenged each other to make a campfire using only ONE match.

Go ahead and try that. Could be a fun activity with your children. Good skill building exercise that every boy needs to know.

Three: The ambiance and romanticism.

Come now. Who does not enjoy reading and relaxing by the fire? How about a glass of wine with your girlfriend on a blanket in front of the fireplace? Firelight (candle and oil lamp light as well) will transform any room from basic and mediocre, into something magical and alluring, thereby setting a calming mood over the room, (and hiding the dust in the process).

Hey, it saves on the electric and gas bill.

Four: It’s inspirational.

Gaze deeply into the heart of the living flames. The dancing and flickering fire, captivates and draws you in, as the bed of molten coals ignites the spark of existential thought in you. There is something primal about fire.

Fire resonates with our souls.

It’s like looking up into the night sky. The myriad star strewn sky leads to such lofty thoughts as “We are small in the Universe.” and “Why are we here?” With similar effect, the fire also leads you inwards and to thoughts of creation and invention. It opens up deep wells of memory and sentimentality – But beware! You can use them productively, or spiral down into regret regret and sadness. Thus, be mindful of them. Feel them all and utilize those flame wrought thoughts for your benefit.

Okay. This just got heavy. You get the idea. Sit back with your favorite beverage, and think.

Five: It’s badass.

Did I mention it was badass?

Ps. A wood burning stove works almost as well. The key here is the wood.

Reference & Further Reading:

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/why-fire-makes-us-human-72989884/

https://www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/late-night-conversations-around-fire-might-have-shaped-early-human-cognition-and-culture-180952790/

 



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Posted April 10, 2018 by Vincent in category "Journal