Dancing Embers

It seems this year has flown by unbelievably faster than any other year. It’s hard to fathom we are into fall with leaves turning colors already… even though we’ve not had a frost yet.  Since the pellet stove died a year ago, I cherish memories of building a fire in our old woodstove, or watching pellets begin to heat up as sparks start to fly, while sitting back to watch the fire take off and build into a crescendo.  

Watching a fire burning in the woodstove, fireplace, or pellet stove is mesmerizing.  The dancing flames seem to take on a life all their own, swaying as in a gentle breeze.  And it appears to be that time of year again.  Admittedly, fall is not my favorite season, though I do enjoy the brilliant colors as leaves turn various shades and hues before cascading down to replenish the earth.  

I also tend to find the cold rain on dark and dreary days a bit depressing… yet, I do like the time to slow down, gather in, and observe nature’s changing moods… remembering that “there is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven, a time to be born and a time to die, a time to plant and a time to uproot, a time to kill and a time to heal, a time to tear down and a time to build, a time to weep, and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance…” (Ecclesiastes 3:1-4)

So, we shiver as the cold air closes in around us, put on a warm sweater, or wrap ourselves in a cozy quilt or blanket, grab a good book to read, or pick up crafts or projects to fill our time.  Flowers faded long ago as their greenery wilted, and the gardens are being put to rest for another season.  Soon pristine white flakes will flutter down to cover the drab browns and grays as winter’s protective blanket settles upon the earth… in a relentless circle of time.

This poem was among my earliest, written in 2013.  And, once again, I fondly recall sitting in front of the woodstove, and later the pellet stove, gazing at the small fire that slowly begins to burn.  As the fire is fed and builds momentum, its heat slowly radiates outward. Then, as I wait for the fire to build till I can set the damper and slow the fire down to a steady burn, I take time to pursue thoughts that ramble… time to think about life… time to ponder where all the years have gone… time to worry… time to realize I need to give those frets to God… time to plan next year’s gardens… time to consider chores on my endless to-do list… and time to contemplate the innumerable blessings God has given us all.  Blessings in an every-day hectic life that we so often take for granted as He restores our peace… because “the Lord is my shepherd, I shall not be in want. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he restores my soul…”  (Psalm 23:1-3a)

Dancing Embers

Linda A. Roorda


On a cold wintry night

Sitting quiet by the fire

A welcomed rest and retreat

Watching embers glow bright

Dancing as in a breeze

Pausing to think and reflect…


On blessings clearly seen

In ways beyond counting,

On those hid from view

Only the heart can perceive…


On a life oft’ encumbered

With worries, frets and woes,

On dreams gone up in flames

Leaving memories behind…


But then I remember

One who softly entreats

Draw near to Me

And release your burdens

For I’ll care for you

Each step of the way.


Linda Roorda writes from her home in Spencer.

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