As the snow began to fall today, I built a pretty big bonfire in the fire pit. Since the ground was already covered with snow and more fresh powder was falling it was safe to light up some branches and old papers that had been accumulating like so much psychic baggage.
Since we changed out the real woodstove for a propane faux woodstove four years ago, it’s been more difficult to dispose of bank and credit card statements and other “sensitive materials.” I had a bag of such papers stored up for an outdoor fire — and also last year’s well-cured Yule tree — so soon a cheery blaze was cracking. As I pulled the papers out to feed the flames, I couldn’t help but notice several blue Chieftain pay stubs among the fuel and the symbolism was not lost on me one day after being told I’m being laid off.
My son Harrison was very intrigued by the flames and watched intensely. There is something about an outdoor fire that tugs at the primal instinct inside all of us.
The experience was very cleansing, and afterward I dashed off through the snow for a five-mile run.
This evening I went outside to make sure the fire was out. The storm had left, leaving the night brighter than the day with a big moon reflecting off the snow and from the snow-laden branches of the surrounding pines.