WHAT IS IT ABOUT CAMPFIRES?

Campfires. What is it about campfires? They can be so mesmerizing. Why do we like campfires? Why do we like staring at fire? Why do people like to build campfires? These are questions I asked myself as I sat around a campfire at a friends house one evening this past week. For me, campfires are very relaxing, unless you have family and friends that are pyromaniac’s and can’t leave the fire alone! Always throwing wood on the fire and messing with the campfire. I have a few of those people in my life.

Sitting around the campfire this past week was so much fun. Very relaxing and enjoyable just watching the flickering flame and hearing it crackle. My friend Harlow made an outstanding campfire. He had three different kinds of wood to put into the fire, apple, pine and oak. The wood was inside a ring, which was raised off the ground so air can circulate through it. Genius! I was watching all the people sitting around the campfire, and I noticed that everyone was staring at the fire. Why do we do that? What is it about staring at fire?  I don’t have an answer for that question.

I have some great memories of campfires. Boy Scout camps, at the lake cabin, in our backyard, camping on vacations, church retreats. Since I have been married, Roxie and I have never agreed on how to start and build a campfire. I have no patience, so I douse the wood with lots of gasoline to get it started! Poof! It starts right away and its going strong.  My wife on the other hand, takes time to find some kindling and maybe newspapers and arranges the wood just perfect to get the fire started. Takes forever to get it started. My way the fire is going right away, no waiting. I have singed myself pretty good while throwing a match on the wood soaked in gasoline.  But it gets the job done!

When our kids were young, we went tent camping at the Wisconsin Dells. The tents were up and as Roxie walked to the restrooms in the campground, the boys and I started the campfire, using my method. When Roxie came out of the restrooms and was walking down the dirt road she had no trouble spotting where our campsite was in the campground. It had the biggest campfire! Flames 10 feet high! Fun times.

I have heard that sitting around a campfire and watching the fire reduces blood pressure and is very good for your mental well being. I agree with that. I just love sitting in my favorite lawn chair and watching the fire. Last week, some of my friends thought it would be better if we started singing some songs around the campfire. Ok, first of all, singing around a campfire should be illegal and no it wouldn’t better!  How can you hear the crackling of the fire if people are singing? To top it off we sang Kumbaya! I pleaded with the Lord to make it stop, but then realized it is a song about him. I just had to laugh.

Campfires have been around since the beginning of time and still fascinate us humans today.

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