Monday, 22 December 2014

Fire in the hall, flame in the heart

What is nicer than coming in from the cold and sitting by a fire to get warm on a Winter's day? before the days of television people would sit and watch the fire and tell stories to entertain each other on dark nights, it sounds romantic. In Italian there used to be 'Stories from the falò'. Here is something by the writer of 'The Legend of Sleepy Hollow' and 'Rip Van Winkle' that is quite inspiring to read at Christmas time. I wonder if he told his stories around a fire, it would be quite scary to go to bed in a candle lit house after listening to 'Sleepy hollow.'

But this is about Christmas and the power of love.

There is something in the very season of the year that gives a charm to the festivity of Christmas. In the depth of winter, when nature lies despoiled of every charm and wrapped in her shroud of sheeted snow, we turn for our gratification to moral sources. We feel more sensibly the charm of each other's society, and are brought more closely together by dependence on each other for enjoyment. Heart calleth to heart; and we draw our pleasures from the deep wells of living kindness, which lie in the quiet recesses of our bosoms. Where does the honest face of hospitality expand into a broader and more cordial smile than by the winter fireside?
Amid the general call to happiness, the bustle of the spirits, and stir of affections, which prevail at this period, what bosom can remain insensible?
It is indeed the season of regenerated feeling - the season for kindling not merely the fire of hospitality in the hall, but the genial flame of charity in the heart.

Washington Irving ( 1783 - 1859)

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