Thursday, December 17, 2009

Santa's Upstairs Fireplace, Which Is Outside

Sometimes during breaks I need to avoid the break room, because I end up gorging myself on sweets and subsequently feeling a little ill from all the sugar. On those occasions, I go outside onto a stone balcony (it's's shaped like a half-sphere) and lean up against the warm stone wall while looking at the stars and the fire. It's dark pretty much all of the time up here, so the stars are usually clearly visible in the sky.
Often there are a few others out there on the balcony, gathered around the fire, talking. It's a nice place to sit and have a conversation.
So, the other day I was out by the fire on the balcony, warming up my toes for an extra 5 minutes after everyone else had left, when suddenly the wind came whipping into the balcony. It was just a single gust of wind, and it completely extinguished the fire.
Now, there are absolutely no artificial lights anywhere outside at the North Pole, and from this side of Santa's Library (due to the shape of the balcony) you can't even see the glow of the interior lights. SO I then found myself in the dark. The depth of this darkness is so profound that it's actually a little disorienting and I was unsure I'd even be able to find the door handle to get back inside. Then I noticed that the wall behind me was still warm, and even in the absence of the heat from the fire, it was still enough to keep me comfortable. For a moment I was laughing at myself for being someone who "stays out in the dark", but I was also fascinated by the brilliance of the stars in the sky, so I relaxed into a little late-night stargazing. Or at least it felt like the very late night. In reality it was not that late.
I started to think about how I needed to go back inside and keep working when the door opened and Santa came out. At least I thought it was Santa -- I was able to see him only for a second before the door closed. I heard his footsteps as he walked over to the fire area, and from the sounds of what he was doing it seemed like he was trying to restart the fire.
I thought (and must have uttered) "Why didn't I think of that?"
I didn't even know I'd said it out loud, but Santa responded, "No, it's all right. You're where you need to be."
I said, "Wow! The wind coming over this ridge is strong."
He replied (and I swear I saw him smirk in the dark), "Well I don't know about you, but I get my courage from standing in the heart of danger."

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