Friday, February 11, 2005


Elsie's favorite curl-up spot is the hearth rug in front of our wood stove. It doesn't matter that the last few days brought temperatures in the 50s and warming sunshine during the day. She curls up there as frequently as she did when the snow piled high and our wind chills plunged below zero. Sometimes she gets so close to the stove she scares me--ever the "mom," I don't want my little girl to get burned. But she won't. She nudges close enough to get what she needs and no more.

There's something attractive about warmth: something soothing and restful and welcoming. Whether it's the radiant heat of a woodstove or the warming rays of the sun, warmth seems to lift our spirits and sooth our souls.

Like Elsie, I need warmth, and not just the kind that comes from heat sources. I need the warmth that pentetrates the heart: a friend's embrace, kind words, a welcome home, a listening ear. I suppose we all need warm spots--people and places where we feel comforted, safe, and loved.

Certainly my family and friends provide these places for me, as does my faith. I'm blessed with much in my life to warm my soul. But my canine kids--Baxter, Elsie, and Ridge--provide unconditional warmth. They wrap me in their affection and take the chill out of life like an old down quilt does on a bitter winter evening. Surrounded by their love and loyalty (and their sometimes ludicrous behaviors), I can't help but smile.

Even in the coldest of times, they warm my heart and remind me that spring is on the way. It won't stay cold forever.

'Til next time,

No comments: