“The fire is the main comfort of the camp, whether in summer or winter, and is about as ample at one season as at another. It is as well for cheerfulness as for warmth and dryness.” ~Henry David Thoreau

Probably the best thing I have added to our home is the outdoor fire pit that I picked up for the big middle school graduation party. Surrounded by Adirondack chairs and a gliding bench, it is a ready circle that calls us out of the house to watch the late evening dusk fade to night. Usually it is my kids and their friends that populate the circle, but sometimes, like tonight I go out there and am drawn in by both my memories of summer campfires and the intimacy that sharing a fire creates.

The conversation among the kids often turns to relationships by the fire. They are still in the time of asking each other through friends if they like the other. The strategizing and connecting that used to take days now can happen in moments through the immediacy of text messaging. Still as much as things change, the essence of them remains the same; we are always going to ask: “Do you like him?” She is always going to answer “Why are you asking?”

The rituals of finding each other are as ancient as the connection that we find sitting around the warmth of a fire. It is no wonder that they inspire each other and that fire is the metaphor for the deepest and most intimate connection we can make with someone we love. Fire is the natural element in the world that changes everything it touches and its power of transformation works on and in us.

My singular goal of late in this positivity quest has been to lighten up, to not work so hard at life and let it be what it is. One of the easiest places to do that for me is at our family camp fire. I have mastered the art of doing and I am over the drive for having, this time in life is asking me to learn how to be. Sitting in front of a fire, burning its way through a story of its own is an open door to being, no trying required.