“I Smell Wood Burning”

Dear Reader:

Last weekend, a home adjacent to mine, had a bonfire burning brightly one evening. I remember it was one of those first cool evenings, but not too cool not to still have the windows open. Suddenly I smelled wood burning.

As I glanced out the window (by the computer) I could see the flames growing higher and higher. At first I prayed it wasn’t a mistake because it was coming from the rental house with all the bamboo. Immediately my mind thought…‘If this isn’t a bonfire…I could be looking for a new car and a new house.’

Soon, however, I heard some country music being played and the sound of people talking and laughing and was relieved to know it was a supervised “burn.” It was the smell of fall….the smell of bonfires and burning leaves. It was such a nostalgic, wonderful smell that took me back to my high school days of homecoming parades, bonfires, and football games. What a wonderful time that was!

And then, with a smile, I remembered an expression that had been pushed way back in my memory bank. If Grandmother Wilson caught me “zoning out”….day dreaming or just staring out the window…she always said, “I smell wood burning” and I would be startled out of my reverie with a small grin from grandmother.

One of the good things about my forced  home “bondage” is that there has been a lot of wood burning coming from within my den. People, places, and things that I haven’t thought about in a long time are popping back up in my memory and making me recognize once again how God has always put just the right person in my life at the right moment to help me through the tough transitional phases of life.

My home captivity has also allowed me more rest than I have had in a long time…I no longer fight naps…but just ‘go with the flow’ and sleep whenever my body tells me it wants to rest…which has been a lot lately. I am listening more intently to my body now instead of my mind that always wants to keep me hopping.

This book showed up on one of my daily devotions yesterday and it reemphasized what I have already been learning these past few weeks ….home alone with no car.

“Our lives have gotten so cluttered up with things we think we should do, we can’t figure out what we were meant to do.” Ali Worthington

Having this time at home has forced me to re-evaluate my priorities and how I spend my time.

Mark reminds us that even Jesus needed to stop and rest in the midst of a crazy world, with all the important things He had to do… if he did…don’t you think we need to rest too?

I realize that taking time to go over my daily agenda with God helps me see where I need to balance my needs with others’ needs more appropriately….taking time to maintain relationships with our fellow man is more important today than ever before. The Internet will never replace the importance of face to face conversation with others…and if people are tricked into believing it can…they end up more isolated and lonelier than ever.

So until tomorrow….Take time for yourself first (rest) because if you aren’t good to yourself and spend all your time trying to be good to everybody else…  you end up being good for nothing. If you keep pushing the busy button …you will sooner or later recognize the high cost of losing the ones you love.

“Today is my favorite day”  Winnie the Pooh

‘Lo how a rose er’ blooming among the Halloween ghosts



About Becky Dingle

I was born a Tarheel but ended up a Sandlapper. My grandparents were cotton farmers in Laurens, South Carolina and it was in my grandmother’s house that my love of storytelling began beside an old Franklin stove. When I graduated from Laurens High School, I attended Erskine College (Due West of what?) and would later get my Masters Degree in Education/Social Studies from Charleston Southern. I am presently an adjunct professor/clinical supervisor at CSU and have also taught at the College of Charleston. For 28 years I taught Social Studies through storytelling. My philosophy matched Rudyard Kipling’s quote: “If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.” Today I still spread this message through workshops and presentations throughout the state. The secret of success in teaching social studies is always in the story. I want to keep learning and being surprised by life…it is the greatest teacher. Like Kermit said, “When you’re green you grow, when you’re ripe you rot.”
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2 Responses to “I Smell Wood Burning”

  1. bcparkison says:

    There really is something ‘warming’ about a bond fire and holding a mug of something hot.When my husband got sick my son put a wood heater in the fireplace. Thinking it would be more efficent and easier to load short wood rather than long. I miss the firplace fire.
    As much as you go and go and go you must be getting cabin fever. You will be ready to rock and roll soon just don’t rush it.


    • Becky Dingle says:

      I am far past cabin fever…but I am also ready to get this foot healed and out and about again…so will keep it propped up. and you are right…a fire in the fireplace is one of the most soothing scenes in life.

      Liked by 1 person

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