Saturday, 9 July 2016

Look Into The Past

Shortly after we moved into this house, I acquired a heavy, metal fire pit. It wasn’t pretty and I suspect that it was made from material stolen from the oilfield, but it worked quite nicely. When we couldn’t go camping, we could still toast marshmallows and hot dogs over an open fire. Everyone in the house loved to poke at the fire, but Louise not only got the most enjoyment from poking, but she was really good at keeping the flame. There is something comforting about a fire.

The kids got older and toasting marshmallows with mom and dad lost some of its appeal. Okay, all of its appeal was lost. One day Louise and I stumbled upon a Chiminea shop and before I could stutter that w-we a-already had an f-fire pit; I was setting the Chiminea up in the backyard. I am not sure what happened to the steel fire pit, but I’m sure that it went somewhere that it wasn’t appreciated.
 
Oddly enough, we have never had very many fires since we bought the Chiminea. I think that without the kids and their excitement, we found the television more compelling to watch. It had a place of prominence in the backyard for many years, but a few years back I tucked it under an overhang of the house and the new BBQ took the choice spot in the yard. The BBQ is used far more often. The thing that you have to understand about Calgary is that even in the summer it gets cold at night and there just isn’t enough room to huddle around the small opening in the Chiminea.

Last night, I was outside reading and thought how nice it would be to have a fire to warm my thoughts and body. I hauled the Chiminea out from under the overhang and before you know it I had a pleasant little fire burning. Louise came out for a time and we sat staring into the flickering flames letting our minds dance with the flames. It was pretty special. Louise went in and I sat waiting for the fire to die down.
 
While I was waiting, I stared at the interior walls while the fire burnt down. The sides are clay and in my minds eye I saw the walls of a cave thousands of years ago. To the beings sitting in that cave, the fire was so much more than something to entertain the kids with. Fire was protection from animals, warmth, a way to prepare food and it helped to extend the daytime. Fire was life.


Looking into the fire I felt connected to my distant ancestors. Perhaps that is why we all love a campfire; it allows us to travel back in time when we were afraid of anything out of the light. There were real monsters in the dark back then. Generally speaking, I prefer imaginary monsters under the bed and electric lights. It was nice to look into the past last night, and perhaps I will  time travel again soon . 

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