Light a Fire
Is there anything better than sitting around a fire on a dark, crisp winter night? Whether alone or in community, something about a campfire is universally familiar, comforting, and grounding.
Fire is innately connected to the human experience. Its characteristics infiltrate our language daily. When we are feeling inspired, we say we’ve had a metaphorical fire lit inside of us. There are burning desires; our enthusiasm is ignited; curiosity is sparked; we have flickers of interest; we are fuming with anger.
There is evidence that beginning at least 400,000 years ago human-controlled fires were taking place inside caves and other areas where natural fires don’t burn (1). Michael Pollan, in his book Cooked, reminds us that human traditions which manage to “stay” over time and across cultures, like cooking by and sitting around a fire, are still with us because they offer our species some distinct advantage. They either keep people happier, healthier, or both. And, according to Pollan, if we as a species choose to ignore the ones that have persisted, we are losing something of value, and possibly something that is critically important to our identity and continued survival. I believe sitting fireside is one of those enduring traditions worth keeping.
On her blog, Katie shares several little rituals that she incorporates into her own life. She encourages others to try one, and notice if it adds any meaning, space for reflection or integration of the seemingly ordinary yet rich facets of everyday moments.