Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Good Fire by Kat Magendie

The most tangible of all visible mysteries - fire. ~Leigh Hunt
Somewhere, someplace far away or not so far away, someone named or never named, cocked their head, raised high their arm and with a quick descending pound, struck a flint they had no idea was a flint, and created a spark. The spark was interesting, so they did it again and again, watched as the light bounced off the rock. Maybe they laughed, maybe they ran to get their friends and family to watch, maybe they were afraid and thought some god played a trick on them. Whatever happened in this long long ago, someone someplace named or unnamed created a spark that would then create a controlled fire. I want to thank them for it. They will never know my thanks, never know that what they created out of earth’s humble offerings would change the way human’s light their spaces, prepare their food, and create warmth. I am imagining there was no fanfare, and I am certain there were no research grants, there was no name written in history books, nothing to mark that day the spark created what human would come to appreciate.

I can imagine before these long ago people created the spark they knew as good fire, they may have known of the big fire that swelled and grew out of control—lightning strikes a tree in a forest and the trees burn, one after another…big fire was not seen as a help to human, but instead something to be feared. A fiery hot god breathing smoke as it ate its way through anything in its path.

But that day of the sparkling flint arcing from the pounding of rock was a controlled event, something the human did from his or her own hand. From those humble beginnings, I am sitting in front of my fire on a surprise-chilly spring day, with a lemongrass candle burning on the counter, the kettle on to boil for tea, asparagus ready to be broiled in the oven for my salad. If my lights go out in our high windy day on the mountain, I’ll light a lantern for light. I will remain snug in my little log house, warm and safe and happy with my good fires. It’s difficult to name gratitude for something I know can also create such pain, but all the same, I stare into the fire and am calmed.

1 comment:

Angie Ledbetter said...

Yes, there's not much else like looking into and warming self by a fire's heat and beauty...unless you're staring at a spectacular sunset. Glad you have both on a regular basis up on your mountain!

Listen to our Podcasts