Monday, November 16, 2015

Sherlock Holmes is fire.

There has been a lot written about the cozy hearth of Baker Street.

That familiar sitting room, with good old Watson sitting in the chair opposite, with Mrs. Hudson bringing up something nourishing, while Holmes pulls down a book from the shelves, and the clients bring their problems to the well-known detective. People just love that literary womb, a place to mentally snuggle in and anticipate adventure to come.

Were 221B Baker Street the primary draw of those famous five dozen stories we call the Canon, however, I doubt they'd still be with us today.

We love that scene, yes. With its wicker chair, bearsking hearthrug, and cluttered mantlepiece. With its friends and familiars. But that fire that burns in the fireplace? It might as well be a cardboard facade with a flickering red light bulb behind it. Because it's not the flame that warms our blood, nor the fire that makes all of London glow brighter with its light.

You know what it is that blazes hot at the center of that flat on Baker Street. And it's not passion.

It's Sherlock Holmes.

He settles into our hearts like we're just hansom cabs waiting outside that famous address, with our mental cabbie hearing him call out a destination like a hunting horn's blast. He sets our wheels spinning and our horses galloping, and what comes after that . . . well, Sherlock only knows, because adventure is an unpredictable tour guide.

It's easy to get lost sometimes, in the smoke and old ashes generated by that marvelous fire called Holmes. Easy to poke at the unsatisfying cinders when the flames seemed to have died down for a moment. But like any fire, if you poke around intently enough, you'll find that coal that still glows bright orange, ready to kindle something bright once more.

And sometimes it just warms the soul to remember that thought on a cold, rainy night. And even prepares you for that next great adventure . . . outside of the printed page or video screen.


  1. And we all love the bearsking hearthrug.

  2. What lovely images you conjure; they warm me on a cold, cold morning.

    Tea time! :-)