Winter Meditation #5 – Campfire

Found this great thought today. Although I can’t say I’ve camped in the ‘wild’ which this writer may have in mind, I’ve done my share of camping. I’ve experienced the sense of wonder, excitement tinged with fear, and the thrill of a campfire as it chases away – and makes – the shadows. There is something internal in humans requiring an occasional campfire. Electric lights don’t do it!

See if today’s quote evokes any special memories!

“Anyone who has traveled in the wilds knows how much he looks forward to the time of day when he can lay down his burden and make camp. He pictures the ideal place and all that he must find there . . . as shadows begin to lengthen, the matter of a campsite takes precedence over everything else, as it has for ages past whenever men have been on the move. The camp with its fire has always been the goal, a place worth striving for and, once attained, worth defending against all comers.”
— Sigurd F. Olson, “Campfires”

Ah, the crackling fire, made of wood collected from around the campsite.

We scoured the edge of the forest, and then into the trees as far as the light of dusk would reach, searching for kindling and small limbs to get the fire started. The largest member of our camping party searched for the largest limbs, and brought back logs which would burn the longest, keeping us warm and safe throughout the cold morning hours and into the dawn.

Then, huddling around the fire, sitting crosslegged on rocks, bare ground, or a bed roll, the fire became the center of our lives. Around it, we ate what we had packed, drank water and sipped wine. Our voices rose and fell as night blanketed the world around us. 

Eyes  drawn to the fire, our ears listened to its crackle. The warmth touched our faces; the smoke, flung about by a mischievous wind, stung our eyes. Still, we lingered, staring into the blaze as time passed. Much later, the embers drew our stare as they glowed and blacked and glowed on into the night.

Eventually, the sleeping bags opened, and we slipped inside, warm, content. The coals glowed on until morning.

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