There’s something very therapeutic and reassuring about building a fire. The pops and whines, the smoke and heat. It transports me to a different place and stage of evolution. I feel a unique, primal pride, a sense of strength and accomplishment, when I coax a fire to life.

The tinder must be bone dry. I search for it in the undergrowth: the topmost leaves from last season; dried moss in the bole of a tree; lichen draped low on bare branches. I gather two fistfuls and place them in the middle of the fire ring, then I fluff them slightly to ensure space for enough air.

Next I locate kindling, snapping each twig and branch and listening for the telltale crackle that indicates it is dry enough to catch. I lay the smallest pieces lightly atop the tinder so that it forms a rough cone.

Then I light the match.

I hold it to one or two places on the tinder, blow lightly, and watch to see that the kindling catches. When it does I place larger sticks on the fire until I have a healthy blaze.

I settle back to enjoy my fire once the first log is fully involved and the fire is popping cheerfully, casting it’s heat and it’s light into the cold dark. I breathe deeply and wish for a simpler time.

Then I reach for my iPhone to blog this.


5 thoughts on “Fire

  1. My fireplace is broken and frankly I refuse to fix it b/c it scares me. I love building a fire or should I say watching someone with confidence that they won’t burn down their/my house build a fire.

    • Samson

      Thanks! It’s from my “fascinated with rust” collection. I’ve got some other good ones, too.

    • Samson

      See…it’s always about the modern day creeping in. I’d shut off my phone…but I might miss a good blog post from someone I know.

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