Heed me, feed me, I am hungry, I am red-tongued with desire;
Boughs of balsam, slabs of cedar, gummy fagots of the pine,
Heap them on me, let me hug them to my eager heart of fire,
Roaring, soaring up to heaven as a symbol and a sign……
Excerpt from The Song of the Camp-fire by William Service
Life is good. Summer life in Minnesota can be extravagant in its simplicity. Friday night I grilled sweet corn, ate outside on the patio and afterwards enjoyed a summer backyard campfire. We are in that sweet spot of June; the mosquitos are almost non-existent, the fire flies have hatched and highlight the growing darkness and the temperature was cool enough that you could enjoy a bit of heat emanating off the coals. We toasted marsh-mellows, ate a couple of smores (roasted marshmallows between graham crackers with a bit of a chocolate bar), sipped a glass of red wine and talked through our week, realizing how incredibly lucky we are to be alive.
There is something pleasantly visceral pleasant about watching a fire die down, as the fading light turns to darkness. There is more than just smoke that rises into the evening sky, as anxiety and stress follow it on its winding path high above the tree tops. The smell of ash and smoke a reminder of our more primitive selves when fire was the primary source of energy of human endeavors. There are few things as peaceful as a campfire, when there are no responsibilities for a moment, other than to feed a log or two to keep it going and experience the fellowship of life with those that gather with you, in circle, to share its flames.
by Henry Wadsworth Longfellow
Not without fire can any workman mould
The iron to his preconceived design,
Nor can the artist without fire refine
And purify from all its dross the gold;
Nor can revive the phoenix, we are told,
Except by fire. Hence if such death be mine
I hope to rise again with the divine,
Whom death augments, and time cannot make old.
O sweet, sweet death! O fortunate fire that burns
Within me still to renovate my days,
Though I am almost numbered with the dead!
If by its nature unto heaven returns
This element, me, kindled in its blaze,
Will it bear upward when my life is fled.