Reflections Sitting By the Hearth

September 12, 2010

It’s morning and I’m still in Roberts Creek in the little cabin along the shore of Georgia Strait. It’s so luscious to sit in front of the hearth warming my feet by the fire.

As the morning chill dissipates I begin to reflect on the meaning of the hearth as an archetypal symbol. In ancient times the hearth was the center of the household where the meals were cooked, stories were told, and life was lived. It provided warmth and light on cold winter nights and a meditative focus as the flames leaped and the coals glowed. We lost something very special when we opted for central heating. For all it’s convenience it has changed the way we live; to the extent that we no longer gather together for mutual warmth we’ve also stopped sharing our lives. 

The words hearth and heart are related. One is the center of the home and the other is the center of the self. As much as we can’t exist without our heart, the quality of our relationships has deteriorated without a hearth. In the past people sat around the hearth and shared their lives; today most of us spend that time communing with our computers or our iPads. We connect with other people through technology, at a distance that isolates us from friends and family. I’m not suggesting that we rid ourselves of technology but, somewhere along the line, we need to recreate the atmosphere of the hearth and the warmth that comes with genuine connection to those we love. 

Soon I’ll be home again and back to my regular life. My hope is that the memory of sitting in front of the fire with nothing better to do than reflect what is important in my life will stay with me for a long time to come.

If you have any questions or comments visit me, as feldylady on Twitter or on my Facebook page under Sandra Bradshaw.


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