Campfires

author-RLSCampfires hold a special place in my heart.

I have a deep appreciation for all the elements. In Newfoundland, growing up we would place a propeller on a stick with a nail, climb the nearest hill, and the wind on any day would send it twirling until our hands shook. On a special windy day, with breakers sweeping over the huge rocks protecting the cove from the full force of the gale, and waves crashing against the wharfs, boats and shore, our ‘leather-wind-bats’ would spin until the nail was hot enough to cook a sculpin.

Montreal offered up wonderful rain storms. They would roll in over the St. Lawrence, flat terrain waiting to be drenched. Dark clouds bellowing, air climbing, perhaps to try and escape the rain; to no effect as the lightning flashed, thunder rolled and the torrents of rain pelted the streets, buildings, cars and trees. None of that gentle rain, the drops were fat with intent to drown everything, bouncing on everything it hit, wanting to penetrate and soak deep. Nor was it a ten minute rain like the ones you get on a sunny afternoon in Florida; no warning, sun, rain, puddles everywhere, minutes later it was as if nothing had ever happened. The Montreal rain storms went on for hours some times, lightning flashing, the rain lessening up to see if someone would venture out, and then more thunder and the drenching would resume.

I like snow best in the mountains—ski country thought it need not have a mass of people which might steal from its attempt to cover everything and keep the world quiet, if only for a short time. Snow storms have their own appeal, but thick cotton-eared flakes of snow magically prepared with exact combination of moisture and temperature, minus the wind, offers the greatest silence. So quiet, you can hear the silence in each snowflake, a landing so gentle against the ground it resembles the seed pod of the dandelion plant floating off as just kissed by a loving breeze. Everything is white, pristine like a new suit of clothes for that first Holy Communion when the soul knows not of sin.

Campfires, no matter where they might find time to warm the air, are good to all seasons and settings. There is a warmth to campfires that is so much more that the fuel being consumed. It has a soul of its own that has little to do with the hotness of its being. Campfires cool and calm the evening, bring friends to gather round, forming the circle which is eternal, backs to the darkness, resting, rejoicing that the day has offered up the night. Rings of smoke send off prayers into the sky; flames flicker and fade, shades of blue where intensity resides, the soft pale yellow where the flame lets go of what must be given in offering.

Campfires might well offer light.