A Man’s Bonfire
There’s something about fires that attract a man’s attention. Most men look forward to winter burning, when they clean up the brush in the yard. They proudly stand in front of the licking orange flames, while the roaring beast lives.
This man waited all summer for this burn. Once snow covered the ground, he was itching to light up the pile. A little enthusiastic pyromaniac wanted to set it ablaze. Comparable to many New England men, he will be satisfied with its flames.
Tom waited until the afternoon faded into dusk, stacking the old wood into a teepee. It was clean up time and a chance to dispose of timber from our torn down shed. A gigantic gnarly tree stump laid in the pile of wood as well.
He said it wouldn’t be easy to burn, as all the wood was wet from snow cover. It took a few minutes to take and gradually it started to crackle and hiss, as gray smoke arose. As the fire grew, people in cars slowly inched by to stare. Popping sparks danced in the air and whistled , flying up and up. Suddenly the sparks extinguished and black soot flakes fell down into the snow. We stood gazing at the glowing mass and heard sizzling within the depths of the fire. As we enjoyed the bonfire, we didn’t mention that it’s source was our old shed. If I had pondered over this, a relief would arise as our shed had seen better days and it was time to demolish it.
Smoke plummeted towards the tallest trees. The bonfire was good and productive. The man slept as soundly as could be that night, as the fire coals lost their glow and smoldered. The visiting deer would stay away, not knowing what this spectacle was.
The next morning this man sipped his coffee, while eyeing the ash pile out the window. After breakfast he gathered his hat and gloves and proudly announced he will burn again. Hours later I watched from my window and noticed his friend, Mike was helping throw the wood in the fire, as Tom worked his rusty chainsaw. He needed to cut the long awkward boards into smaller, manageable pieces for a better burn. I was happy for Tom to have his friend’s help and the company. As they worked they chatted. It looked like they were having a good time.
Once again red hot flames curled up with heavy smoke. As noon approached, I made them a lunch of roast beef cheese melt sandwiches, pasta salad, and chips. We talked about different things, our kids, our houses and heating bills. Then it was time for them to go back out and check the fire.
By early afternoon the fire sizzled with short controlled flames. Mike left for home and Tom thanked him for his help. It had been another great bonfire, beautiful to look at and warm to stand by. In the spring the ashes and soot will be raked up, exposing the grassy ground once more. All that will be left is the memory of the blazing bonfire on the cold winter days of January.
All my Best,
Heart and Soul ❤️