My relationship to fire
I’ve always loved campfires. I once wrote the following text about my relationship to fire.
A new beginning, an idea and a vision of something bigger and warmer. A place to meet, to tell stories from the past and make plans for tomorrow. Sparks that soon will transform into flames and heat your body, give you warm food and coffee.
Nurture it like a baby. Protect it from unwanted guest, feed in with the best there is around and let it grow when ready. Look at it, let it breath and give it your full attention. A fire like this is a treasure worth protecting. It will soon be ready to welcome you all with its sparkling sounds and dry surroundings. Don’t take it for granted yet. Be ready to help out when needed.
If you did okay you now have a welcoming fire in front of you. You’ve hopefully been friends for a while, the fire and you. You’re being in the moment, listening to the wind, the sparks, the flames and from time to time the mind wanders off. You think about the people back home, the trail ahead and the comfy sleeping bag that you will soon be sleeping in.
I’ve met many people while outdoors throughout the years and often we gather around campfires to cook our food, dry our clothes and share stories. Sadly I also often see hot ember in the fire-pits with no people around them. When I talk to people they often say that they did pour a lot of water on it and that the fire was for sure put out. But if you can easily lift a rock or stir a little in the ember for a new fire to grow I would say the opposite. Take care of our nature – if you’re unsure if the fire is out, add more water! Some people tell me to relax while telling them or talking about this. But it’s our forest, my church, our roots. Stir in the ember, turn the rocks, use more water than you think. If you hear it roar when pouring water over it you should add a lot more.
Campfires should be considered a special treat rather than a necessity. Aim to not only leave no trace of your adventure on the landscape but, ideally, to leave a positive trace.