Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Burning Comfort

Man has been around fire for thousands of years and for good reason. It provides warmth, it can make food tastier, it can be used as a tool and perhaps most importantly, it provides comfort. I can't think of a single time when I have sat down in front of a fire and not felt comfort. When you are sitting staring into the embers of a fire, all things on the periphery fade to black.

As a young boy, my parents would take my brother and I down to some bottom grounds with a fairly large tract of woods and we would go camping for an evening. There they taught me the art of building a good fire. These were training missions for our longer two week backpacking trips into the mountains of the west or canoeing trips down various rivers. I took great pride in digging a fire pit, building fires with one match on the first day and from old embers subsequent days and finally disguising the pit so you would never know I had been there.

Sitting around the fire, one felt free to talk without repercussion. You bared your soul and others listened. You reminisced about the good times, talked about politics and the current world and pondered the future. You laughed, talked and drifted into long periods of comfortable silence. Then the fire did the talking with a snap, crackle and pop.

With plenty of firewood and a fire pit left by a previous owner, I have built several fires outside and positioned myself near in a nice folding canvas chair. I have't done so nearly as often as I should but as often as needed to sooth my soul. After the others have left, I like to linger for another hour or so watching the fire burn down into a bed of glowing embers and let my mind wander or be silently, deliciously blank. During these times, I have not a care in the world. I am comfortable.


Bone said...

I'd never thought about it, but you're right, there's something about a fire that makes you want to bare your soul. Some of my favorite times in life were camping out with friends in high school and college days.

Of course, now I just buy a pre-packaged log and throw in the fire pit on the back porch. Not quite the same.

Ed said...

Bone - Pre-packaged logs? Who'd a thunk it?

warren said...

It's funny but you are right...people just talk better around a fire. My kids and I sit around one many nights and I just love the openness we share.

Leigh said...

That's a great fire pit, Ed. And I have to admit it looks pretty good right about now!

Anonymous said...

You have to say that's a lot of work for what's in effect a kerb for ash.
I do like the idea of it though. I might like it a good bit bigger and square. I've seen something like it with a forged steel tyre for a cart.

Ed said...

Warren - I hope that is the case for me too but right now, I need to wait until my kids are old enough to sit still for more than a few seconds!

Leigh - It certainly beats not having a fire pit! I have great plans to move our fire pit and redo it someday but for now, we are getting a lot of use out of the one that was here when we bought the place.

Vince - Building a fire pit is a bit of work but for me, the efforts are well worth it. I do enjoy sitting outside in the evenings listening to nature and watching a good fire. The one I'm planning on building in the future is going to be all natural stone. I just like the look and it lasts forever.

Ed said...

Vince - I should also mention that the firepit in the picture is a prefab one. The ring is composed of four round quarter sections so all you have to do is dig a hole and set them in it. The surrounding area has some gravel and some cement pavers but they weren't done properly and are broken, grown up in weeds and pretty much an eye sore.