I sit by the hearth the crackling wood the only sound that marks the night. On my lap a book the sages quote waits to be taken up again. My gaze is drawn to the flames that leap into my thoughts. I rememebr other nights when the smell of burning

wood lay heavy in the room and laughter was mere echo and the ashes cooled slowly while the wind outside

moaned and the moon slipped across the heavens untouched.

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