Music of the Day, 4 December 2023
too much hurry ruins the body
It’s clear from the lyrics that today’s MotD isn’t set in winter; but now when I hear it, a winter setting invariably comes to mind. The last place my kids and I lived in Washington was a Victorian house that was 100+ years old. It had been remodeled and updated more than once, so it was quite modern—except for the heating system. The main level had a free-standing gas stove in a corner of the living room that was right outside my bedroom. The kids’ bedrooms upstairs had electric heating units in the walls.
This arrangement meant that if I wanted my bedroom to have any warmth1 at all during the cold months, I needed to leave the door open. It took me a while to get used to the light from the fire, and much more so the fwoosh! when it kicked on, especially in the early morning to warm the kitchen before we got up.
It was a welcoming sight for all of us to return home from our martial arts classes in the early dark of fall and winter and see the warm light from the fire through the front bay window. Many a sodden gray day was made more pleasant by us clustering around the stove, warming ourselves and chatting amiably. The fire so buoyed all our spirits that I took to lighting candles in the evening throughout the year, just to have a bit of fire’s primeval spirit in our home. We miss that practice here, as our lease prohibits candles.
We faced a lot of challenges in the years we lived in that cute old house, and we did our best to learn and grow through them and to be there for each other. Our little stove with its beautiful glow played an important role in that. For me, Ian Anderson’s tender love song to his partner kindles my memories of those days rather than a longing for romantic love.
“Fire at Midnight” is from Jethro Tull’s 1977 folk-prog album, Songs from the Wood. It’s the first of the band’s albums I owned and still my favorite.
Thinking about this, trying to keep the dampness down, especially in my closet and bathroom, was more of a consideration than me staying warm. Being a knitter, I know the value of good woolen items for keeping warmth in!