It’s amazing what happens when you start a fire and gather people around it. It’s almost like a magical environment that somehow evokes conversations that might be near impossible to start elsewhere.
Over the past few years, I have had what I would term “life-giving” conversations around campfires and firepits. Somehow, in the midst of the darkness, lit up by the fire enveloping the wood that is its fuel, conversations start and take a journey along a path that can rarely happen anywhere else.
What is it about the fire? Is it the darkness that somehow allows us to take off the mask that we’ve been hiding behind? Does a fire somehow lend us perspective that we’ve been unable to find anywhere else?
Firepits have seemed to be the latest crave for guys my age. One friend built an elaborate patio in his backyard with an adequate space for fires. At least two other friends have those metal firepits that they can move around and place anywhere to assuage the inner pyromaniac in them. My wife and kids even bought me a small firepit during a Black Friday sale online.
There’s something magical about the ambience that happens around that fire. Remember back to younger days around campfires. What did you experience? Singing? Ghost stories? Young love? What was it?
Fires always remind me of summertime. They remind of simpler days, days when the hardest decision that I had to make was how to spend all of the hours that were laid out before me. Fires bring me back to that same simplicity when I stand before them. It’s almost as if my troubles fall away and I’m lent an inordinate amount of wisdom to understand life a little bit better. Of course, the problems of the world can easily be solved on a whiteboard, it’s the actual implementation of those plans that make things so difficult.
I’m glad for fires….at least contained ones, ones that have a magical effect on all who surround them. I can’t understand how they do what they do, but I’m glad for it. I value those times when I get to come together with friends, when we can all be ourselves, when we can somehow see things a little clearer, understand a little better, and feel a little bit more confident about the road laid out before us. As long as that keeps happening, as long as I continue to experience this same kind of thing, I’ll keep coming back for more.