When I was six or seven our furnace broke and was not repaired. I had loved the air vents to cuddle over on a cold morning while waiting for breakfast. To this day, the sound of the furnace coming on is safety and comfort. Without the furnace, the house was cold in the morning and all the heat came from a fire that needed to be tended all day. I didn't love that fire. It was too hot up close and too cold in the rest of the house.
I also had a deep fear of burning and having the fire be the only heat made it worse. I was afraid of fire from watching Atlanta burn in Gone with the Wind and I was convinced it was only a matter of time before my town burned down. I was also sometimes locked in my bedroom when I would not sleep, which made me hysterical as I could not leave if there was a fire. All together, I don't like a closed door or a wood stove. I like the safety and calmness of the furnace where the fire is hidden and I don't have to think about it, just enjoy the outcome.
But I see a great metaphor there too. So much of life right now is removed from the messy parts. We buy our food sanitized from the relationship with the farmer/land and buy our clothes from nameless makers. The lack of distance can put us at danger of not knowing when things are going wrong until the problems are big and we don't see the secondary consequences. I might like not knowing a lot better, but it does not leave me any better off.
So I am grateful to have a working furnace where I can turn up the heat and not worry about money in a house that is well insulated and safe. I know there are many who don't have that. On this note, one of the women from Idle No More has launched a crowd sourcing campaign to fund a house. Take time today to enjoy one of those simple things that makes you happy.