Yesterday a tremendous front blew through here. Cooler and cooler air moved in after it, and by 8:00 last night, Emma and I realized that it was time for the first fire of the season.
We set out our teacups and saucers, poured the boiling water in, and while the tea was steeping, Emma chose a book to read aloud, and I snatched our log carrier from beside the fireplace and hurried out into night air that seemed to be filled with cold, bony fingers, all of them sifting through my hair and picking autumnal tunes upon my back.
Feeling carefully in the dark for a good selection of small, medium, and large logs, I envisioned the roaring fire to come, the awesome comfort of spending an evening with my dear daughter beside the family hearth.
The fecund spark quickly multiplied into hungry flames. Soon we had a briskly burning fire. With our tea and great anticipation, we settled onto facing couches in front of it. Emma opened the Tennyson and began to read. Everything was perfect. I took one sip of my tea. Delicious!
And then I fell asleep.
This morning I waked on the couch, alone. The hearth was cold, and by Emma's former place on the couch--beside the abandoned Tennyson--lay Chesterton's What's Wrong with the World? Poor Emma! I wonder if she found the answer to the problem of mothers who fall asleep just when leisure begins.