Several evenings over the past couple of weeks, we have sat out in back of the house and enjoyed a fire in the metal ring beside the small patio. The patio faces eastward and some nights we watched the moon and stars rise over corn fields and bean fields and the tree-lined creek beyond. The cicadas were loud but not intrusive, the breezes were gentle and cool, and the leaping flames reminded us of campfires we've shared through the years and made for some very pleasant evenings.
There's just something about a campfire. It makes you feel all safe and warm and cozy inside. It makes a great place to just sit with family and talk about the day now coming to an end, kind of like the kitchen table of the outdoors. It takes you on tours of campsites visited. It conjures up memories of long evenings playing guitar and singing songs with friends and family right up until "quiet time"; of roasting hot dogs and toasting s'mores; of watching the embers glow bright orange and appear to "breath" as they slowly burn to ash.
John Denver sang a song, early in his career, called "Poem, Prayer and Promises." One of the lyrics in the song said something like:
"I have to say it now it's been a good life all in all,
it's really nice to have a chance to hang around,
and lie there by the fire and watch the evening tire,
while all my friends and my old lady sit and (watch the sun go down)* ...
And talk of poems and prayers and promises,
and things we believe in,
how sweet it is to love someone,
how right it is to care,
how long it's been since yesterday,
and what about tomorrow,
what about our dreams and all the memories we share ..."
That's what it's like sitting out behind the house, watching the fire and sharing life with one another. To my notion, it's a very good thing.
*Note: Writer's original lyrics were different on this line, but he changed them for some live concerts later in his career.