Fire. Creating it – by rubbing sticks together or striking flint on steel – may have been man’s first invention. Certainly, it was his best.
But I don’t want to write about the practical values of fire: things like warmth, light and energy. Tonight, I’m appreciating its aesthetic properties.
I’ve spent a good part of my life looking at yellow and blue flames, curling and then leaping around, under and over well placed wood: mesquite, oak, pinion or cedar. Growing up we built a fire most every fall and winter night, and, at Hidden Falls, campfire was the spiritual pinnacle of every day.
I love the sounds of fire, too. Am listening to them now: a constant blowing noise like a flag being whipped in a stiff breeze, occasional crackling, less often pops, some of them accompanied by fiery projectiles brought down in mid-flight by a sturdy screen.
I feel sorry for people who live in buildings or cities where real fires with real wood are prohibited. Sitting by a fire is one of my favorite pleasures, made even better if I have a pad and pen in hand.
Seems like we’ve seen five or six books leave the house every day this week. More about one of those and its reader in tomorrow’s blog.