We often take for granted our lives and those we love. We never really appreciate what we have until we are about to lose them. Like a fire, our lives can burn out of control one minute, and simmer to embers the next. Williams life was doing just that, he had come to the cabin to reflect upon his life and to find the sense of peace that seemed to elude him.
He was at the fireplace, blowing softly on the embers until he saw small flames begin to wrap around the logs. He sat back and watched the dance as the fire came to life. It’s funny, he thought, how we don’t take time to enjoy the small wonders.
As William watched the fire he reflected upon his younger years, and he remembered how he had met Sara. She was the most beautiful girl on the campus. Every man had invited her to the homecoming dance, but she had decided to say yes to him. The event was spectacular. The setting was romantic, as the flicker of candlelight played across their faces. Holding Sara closely, they danced. William could feel the warmth that rushed into his face and that filled his heart every time she had laughed. By the end of the dance William knew he was in love.
Sara walked into the room, disrupting Williams thoughts. The fireplace was aglow as the flames grew higher. She placed a blanket on his legs, and handed him his coffee. William looked up into her eyes and smiled. To this day she is still so very beautiful, he thought. Sara let him know that the boys had called asking for him, and to say they would arrive at the cabin tomorrow. The boys. William chuckled as he thought of them. He could still remember the day they were born. Sara was in such pain, yet the doctors would not let him anywhere near the room! It had taken several hours before they boys arrives, born only a few minutes apart. Sara was such a great mother to them, always by their side when needed. It seemed like such a lifetime ago.
William noticed the fire simmer down a bit, so he placed a few logs on top and then decided it was time to climb into bed. He tired so easily now. Sara came in and sat beside him. She had brought his favorite book and began to read aloud. Williams mind drifted again to the past, the fires heat warming him causing a bout of drowsiness. The day William had bought that book was the day the boys had left for college. Sara had wept and he had felt a need to console her. They had spent the entire day wandering into little antique stores. Sara had wanted to find the perfect screen for the fireplace cabin. Even though they had purchased the cabin years before, she was always carefully selecting the perfect items to furnish it.
Sara put her book down as she noticed William drifting to sleep. She could feel that his time was drawing near. The fire was starting to dwindle a bit. Sara walked over and stirred the logs, hoping they would last a bit longer. William called out softly for Sara to join him beside the bed. He had wanted to hold her hand. He had finally found the peace he had been searching for. By reflecting on the past, he had found the meaning of HIS life – his love for Sara and the boys. Williams eyes closed, as the last embers of the fire glowed. Sara leaned over for one last embrace, a farewell kiss. A single tear fell from her eyes onto his face, and the fire died.
Williams life was as consuming as the fire, flickering over the logs, simmering down only to be stirred to life again. In the end he realized that the fuel for his fire was the love of his family. As long as that love was intact and remembered, his fire would always glow.