It might be summer but this image of the wood outside the old family home reminded me about the comforts of a wood fire at home. There's certainly something comforting about a wood fire.
Perhaps it's having the knowledge that the wood will keep us warm, will keep our fires burning literally. Perhaps it's the flickering light that comes from the wood fire that leaves us feeling reflective and trancelike as we stare into the fireplace.
Perhaps there's also something about having this wood available in summer tells us about the comfort that comes from knowing we're prepared for the colder months. In Victoria, and in a time of climate change, we might of course need warmth earlier than the standard winter months. Cold days and nights can happen during summer these days.
Being prepared and ready for whatever happens brings us comfort, helps us to feel confident of not just survival but enjoyment. It could be innate human instincts kicking in to ensure that we will not suffer if and when the weather turns cold.
There's something about this picture that leads me to think of childhood stories, where deep woods hide big, bad wolves or witches. I'm reminded of the story of Hansel and Gretel and their survival in the woods as they outwitted the nasty witch. The house in this image looks hidden behind the big, glossy green leaved trees. With its open window it appears welcoming, just like many of those places in the woods where innocent children were encouraged to enter.
On the other hand, there's also something about the wood that reminds me of the dangers of bushfires, particularly during summer in Australia. I'm reminded of how homes and people are at risk when bushfires rush through, often driven by strong winds and supported by lightning strikes or at worst, fire lighters, who keep the fire burning placing whatever is in its way at great risk. I'm reminded of how people work hard to protect their homes, moving the wood stacks away from the home, keeping the sanctity of the home, ensuring that the fire is halted before it reaches the precious home.
It's always surprising how many thoughts can come when looking at a simple image. Some deep and dark thoughts, along with pleasant and calm thoughts. The influence of our childhood and current media representations are ever present as we look at images and reflect on what they mean.