The fireplace is going crackle, crackle, crackle, and when I look into it, I amuse myself by thinking up ways to describe the flames.
They leap. They dance. The flicker. They flare. They lick the logs. They lull me into a mood to linger over each word as I write.
It is so nice and warm in here. The pretty flames are consuming the oxygen that my brain needs to function. Being oxygen-deprived, I have an excellent excuse to be ineffectual. Today, I am as useless as paper peony. One that doesn’t sent out pleasant wafts of perfume or flutter prettily in a breeze, or feed starving children, or bake bread, or remove calluses, or alleviate any of the world’s financial woes.
I am paper flower, on vacation from being meaningful, relevant, insightful, inspiring, or thought provoking, on a lovely, lyrical, lollygagging, languid day.
I just made a cup of tea.
Vanilla tea with lots of chemical sweeteners and a dear little tag that hangs over the side of the cup like a flag of surrender, declaring, “Give up. Wrap an afghan around your legs; snuggle on the sofa; hug your ferret; and drink me.”
Ferrets are perfect pets for useless people on languorous winter days, because ferrets don’t do anything. You can drop a morsel of food three inches in front of a ferret’s mouth, and it won’t find it unless you point the ferret’s nose at its dish. It can scamper out your front door, and unless you pick it up and carry it back into the house, it will never find its way back.
Nor is it possible to take a ferret for a stroll. If manage to get it into a harness (which is like trying to put a silk stocking on a Slinky), instead of going for a walk, the ferret will take you for a zigzag. Move three steps forward. Stop. Dig in the grass. Retreat four steps. Stop. Scramble up your pants leg. Stop. Chase its tail. Stop. Raise its head. Stop. Begin to run frantically as if being chased by Lord Voldemort and an army of Death Eaters in a Harry Potter movie. Stop. Climb back up your pants leg.
Some ferrets, if you ring a bell, will come. Others, like mine, just look at you with quizzical expressions on their faces that convey the thought, “Are you food?”
What ferrets do most, best, however, is make their owners laugh. So, laughing is one more thing that I have been doing on this idle, idyllic, inert, and dillydally day.
Other than watching the flames flicker in my fireplace, I also went to an antique store and bought two books of Tennyson poems, a flower frog for my ball point pens, a butter dish, two newspapers, (both of which I forgot at the restaurant where I had lunch), and a bottle of Rolaids anticipatory to eating all of the wrong foods for dinner.
My dinner menu is: A Hershey chocolate bar with almonds. Whipped cream (right out of the can). Peanut butter cups. Hot chocolate. And Tea.
My itinerary is: Fireplace. Ferret. Book.
Winter is coming to a close.
Life is good.
In the weeks and months to come, may life be as good for you. May you be generous to yourself, and kind to others.
And when no one is looking (and you think that you can get away with it), may you be as useless as a pretty paper flower and as happy as a lazy, hazy, dilly-dallying writer – like me.