Thursday, March 5, 2015
I love fire. In a safe-distance-away, controlled-setting kind of way, of course. I love the way it looks and moves, all those flickering colors and fleeting shapes. I love it's warmth and coziness and maybe even the whisper of danger. Huddling around a fire feels primordial and right.
Karl and I were down south last week on a skiing getaway weekend, right on the border between Austria and Germany in tiny little village in the mountains. There we stumbled on a local celebration (outside, of course, in below freezing temperatures, because the people that live there year-round must be utterly resistant to cold) and man, what a bonfire! It was huge, the size of a small house, and magnificent. People stood around and drank beer while the flames licked high into the night sky and sent sparks and smoke flying across the snow. The whole scene was like Robert Frost's poem, Fire and Ice, come to life. There were kids playing everywhere (because this is Europe, after all, and safety is more an every man for himself, common sense kind of endeavor) and people laughing and talking but all I could do was stare into that inferno.
Then I noticed clusters of people huddled around some sort of "warmers". I had to take a closer look. From what I could make out, they were hollowed-out tree trunks with smoldering ashes inside that emit heat as a kind of makeshift mini-fire. I was fascinated. What keeps the whole long from burning? How does it self-contain? I have no idea, but I huddled up to one too as the night got colder and I must say; I'm a fan!
Look up at the Sky!