I make a fire in the fireplace, sit down on the couch with a book, two books.

My stomach is full; rain pours down, and a cold wind blows.

It’s as though we’re on our own little island here, and I read this from The Summer Book by Tove Janssen, and think yes.

“An island can be dreadful for someone from outside. Everything is complete, and everyone has his obstinate, sure, and self-sufficient place. Within their shores, everything functions according to rituals that are hard as rock from repetition, and at the same time they amble through their days as whimsically and casually as if the world ended at the horizon.”

I read about anchovies in Brian Doyle’s book, One Long River of Song.  I learn that we don’t know much about anchovies but we know that their noses contain a sensory organ that no other creature in the world has.  We know that “sensory complexes in their heads also form dense nets in the cheeks”. We don’t know why.

We don’t know exactly what they eat.  

We know that their “hearing is perhaps the sharpest of any marine animal”, and perhaps that is why “they manage to swim in darting collectives that twist as one astonishing creature”.  

I watch the flames in the fireplace as I consider how sheltering-in-place, if we have a place to shelter, puts us on an island, even as we vibrate with a similar rate of connective response to a virus we don’t see or yet understand.  

Though it’s still daytime I light candles, savor flame inside and out.

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