6/50 – Late winter dawn
I swing the woodstove door open. The groan of the hinges makes me anticipate warmth, just like treats made Pavlov’s dog drool. I stick the end of the long iron poker into the thick ash in the stovebox. I rake it back and forth. An orangey live coal wakes up, suddenly uncovered. And then, another. I roll those to one side and continue with the lusty raking, finding more live ones, and more. With a small shovel I remove the cool, powdery ash. Now there are just hot coals, glowing bright in the draft. Add logs and blow. Flames. Done.