This evening I could smell fire.
I know that fire can be bad, in terms of bush fires, house fires; when fire burns where we don’t want it to.
But when I smelt it this afternoon, it brought back fond memories. Memories of various bonfires throughout high school. On camps, mostly, church events, or friend’s houses who lived out of town and on a property.
I remember bush dancing around three bonfires on a camp I went on when I was seventeen, where everyone was having so much fun no one thought to be awkward about dancing with people they hadn’t even met. It was lively and fun and I’ve never been so tired but in the best way possible. By the last dance, my partner was practically dragging me along the ground, we danced endlessly. And the fires burned and filled the air with that woodsy smell, and the folk band played with much enthusiasm for many hours into the night, guitars and violins and singers who were united in their sound. It was a beautiful night, and one I’ll never forget. Much laughter happened that night, and I’ll never forget the thrill when someone asked me to dance with them on more than one occasion.
Or a bonfire night when all we did was sit around and had deep chats, every now and then broken with a giggle, as girls do. Or a bonfire night when all we did was walk around. It was so dark we wandered into several trees and a wire fence, but we laughed it off because even though it hurt it was sooo funny. At the time. You had to be there.
Or sitting in front of an inside fire, so unbelievably warm. Especially with a cup of tea and thick socks. Mmm.
Fires just have good connotations, generally because of the relationships built around them. I remember one time I was sitting by myself in front of the fire, just watching it for a long time. And that was nice and thoughtful, but there’s something about the conversation you have around a fire. Not much in life can top that atmosphere, I have to say.
And then on the way home, you sit in the car, and you can smell smoke on your clothes and it’s not entirely pleasant and you have to wash them right away, but it’s a lingering reminder of the chats and the laughs and the dances and the friends.
I once went to someone’s house where they threw a party in a big shed, with a bonfire just outside of it. And everyone was outside, but four of us played pool inside the shed, getting slight heat from the bonfire and having a good time. So many good one-liners thrown across the pool table that night. So good.
Enjoy winter, campers,