I get up in the morning and I put some wood in the wood stove, add a log or two or three to the coals left from last night's pile-up. Depending on the day I might put a fire in the fireplace, too. It's an efficient firebox, so it does throw heat into the room, plus I love sitting here at the table, looking at the flames while I'm doing my work.

I can tell you it's true because I was one, a lot of people become fire fighters because they love a good fire.



It's hard to breathe right now, it's very cold, as has been reported. And yet, the low temperatures bring their own version of beauty: the blue sky is crystal-clear, the snow is quite bright, the world seems to be a little more in-focus when it's below zero. A good reminder that you can hate something or you can love it, depending on how you look at it.




In the summer we swim in it, now we skate on it. Houses, it seems, have trouble with their water situations when it's very cold. Pipes freeze and the things we usually like to have leave our bodies and bathrooms swiftly and without a trace linger a bit longer. "It's a biohazard" is how my sister described the situation in the upstairs bathroom of our parents' house the other day when she called and asked for the plunger.



And also, blood, bones and chicken soup. Skin, curly hair and hot chocolate with Fluff. A friend I haven't spoken to in ten years sends me a photo of her gorgeous teenage daughter. My kids all sleeping under the same roof. The food at Bob's Diner and the hands that serve it. The dad searching dusty genealogy records to find out who we are. The dream about death in which I had a cast on one foot and a hockey skate on the other.

The concept of aether was used in several theories to explain several natural phenomena, such as the traveling of light and gravity.

We are here. I have no idea why we are here. My hunch is love. We are here to love. To dream, to make soup, to forgive, to die. We are into another year now. I hope you fill every nook and cranny of your being with your truth this year. With your full understanding of why you have been given the gift of this life and what you believe, with all of your heart, you are supposed to do with it. May that, and the angels, guide your every step, so that on Monday, December 31, 2018, you can look back with absolute certainty that you helped make this world a better place. Amen.