His reaction made me smile. I can relate. I feel a bit of this sensation with every fire I build. Fire gives us heat, we can cook over it and it gives us light. I've grown up with an appreciation of fire. I grew up camping with my family. I loved roasting hot dogs and marshmallows to make s'mores. I love the smell of a campfire and the smell that the smoke leaves on whatever is near to it.
I was a member of the Girl Scouts from second grade through to my freshman year of college. I camped with my family and went to Girl Scout camp from the fifth grade until my freshman year of college. In Girl Scouts, we sang a song called "Rise up o flame." I believe, especially when I was younger, that we were calling to the flames, as a snake charmer's flute speaks to the cobra. We would sing
Rise up o flame
by thy light glowing
show to us beauty
vision and joyand as we sang, the flames would leap higher and the fire would grow. In my mind, fire has always been magical- almost spiritual. I've often felt there are answers within the flames, if we study them intently enough. For me, the experience of camping has always been a comforting, relaxing time. During the tough years, after my divorce, I would often escape from life and go camping by myself. Friends would fuss after me, telling me that camping alone was dangerous. Camping alone was a life saver for me. I would sit in the evenings looking at the campfire, beer in hand and think. It was an excellent time for sorting out all of the tangled thoughts swirling around inside of my head. I always went back home with a feeling of gratitude, rested and refreshed.
I've been building fires probably since I was ten years old. When you build a fire, one starts very small, shavings of wood or a bit of dry grass and then slowly you feed the fire, adding larger pieces of fuel. I always felt proud of being able to build a fire.
My ex and I had a wood burning stove in our basement and heated our house with wood for many years when the cost of fuel oil was beyond our budget. I would come home to a cold house and head downstairs wearing my coat or a sweater or sweatshirt. We kept logs turned up on end before the fire to sit on. It was always a peaceful time at the end of a work day.
Now, the duggles and I have a fireplace insert in our keeping room and on cool rainy days or snowy evenings, I love to build a fire and sit before it.
The heat from a fire permeates your body, soaking through to your bones. The skin on your face grows hot and dry from the heat. To me, there is nothing like the heat of a fire.
I don't thump my chest when I build a fire but I do believe I always feel a sense of pride and accomplishment each time.
"Well, will you look at that!"
Then with a contented sigh, I sit back to enjoy.