Several weeks ago, my youngest had to write a descriptive essay for her English class. She wrote about the nightly campfire at her favorite spot in the whole world: her grandparents’ cabin in Northern Wisconsin. That got me thinking, which is not necessarily uncommon, and can be considered dangerous . . .
I thought about Campfires. For many years, we camped as a family. As we grew older, several families would camp together. We’d pitch a tent or those who didn’t want to rough it, opened up their trailers. A line would be stretched from one tree to the next to hang a wet towel and swimsuit. Sleeping bags laid out. The cooler strategically placed under a picnic table bench so the wily raccoon wouldn’t get into it. Families in easy walking distance to one another’s campsite to share a cup of tea or coffee, a homemade cookie or brownie or piece of cake. Play a game of cards or a board game. Visit a bit. Laugh a lot.
And when groups of us camped together, there would be the campfire.
Each night the kids would gather the wood and kindling and we’d build the fire. Sometimes we’d cook over it. Other times, we’d do s’mores. We’d pull up lawn chairs and as the night grew darker and colder, we’d pull our chairs closer to the fire for warmth and comfort. There would be jokes, and drinks, and snacks. There would be stories of “Remember when . . .” The kids would lean in and listen closely, hoping for a tidbit to tease their parents or aunts or uncles with.
And of course, the Campfire.
It was Important. A ritual. A rite. One of the things we did. There wasn’t a grand announcement. No formal training. It was something we thought was Important and needed to be done.
Warm. Inviting. Peaceful.
Watching for falling stars. Pointing out the various constellations. Listening to crickets, bull frogs croaking, fish and turtles splashing, the call of the loon.
Somehow, we’ve gotten away from the rest and relaxation a Campfire can bring.
We eat on the run, not necessarily eat as a family . . . together. We watch a thirty minute sit-com where the “problem” is solved with two commercial breaks to push the good life. Have a headache? Take this pill because it lasts all day. Have laugh-lines or wrinkles? Use this cream or inject some Botox or have a face lift. Out of touch? Text. Facebook. Instagram. Twitter.
I think we need a Campfire or two . . . or five or six. We need the peace, the tranquility. We need the warmth, the gentleness, the comfort. To feel the night wrap around us gently, softly. To wish on a star. Dream.
We need to gather together. Be together. To talk. Perhaps more importantly, to listen. Perhaps to be silent with each other. A gentle touch. A hug or two. To be present and in the moment. Something to think about . . .
Live Your Life, and Make A Difference!