One of the new things I grew last summer was a pot of lavender. I kept it on the deck, right outside the kitchen and family room. At the end of the season, I picked the flower spikes, hung them in the laundry room to dry, then rubbed the flowers off and used them for sachets. I bundled up the stems with burlap twine, which I knew would be safe to burn, and set them aside to use in the fireplace this winter. Tonight I added fragrance to a fire for the first time.
We have a nice wood-burning fireplace in our family room. It's always so cozy to sit in front of it and watch the flames flicker. However, we don't use it very often. A good fire takes all night, and we don't usually have that big block of time to devote to it. It requires a lot of work to get a good blaze started. Once it's going, it always needs attention--a new log, or a poke to reinvigorate the embers.
Tonight turned out to be the perfect night for a fire; the forecast called for cold, windy weather. We had no plans for the evening except a friendly game of cards, which we could easily play in the family room while we watched the flames.
Tony did the fire lighting honors tonight, using some fatwood for kindling. The logs had been in the fireplace since the beginning of the cold weather, so they were dry and caught easily. After the fire was blazing, I added the first of the bundles of lavender. The stems emitted a fragrant aroma for the five minutes it took for them to burn. I spaced the rest of the bundles out over the course of the night, so we'd have intermittent fragrance. Each time the scent of lavender wafted through the air, I took a deep breath and enjoyed the smell. It made me think of the warm weather that will eventually be here.