Watching The Flames

A few nights ago, I went to a camp out at a friend’s house. My friendship group sat in the dark, wrapped up in blankets, played silly games, got a little tipsy, and sang along to music. We also had a fire, and roasted marshmallows to make s’mores. It was peaceful, beautiful even.

I love fires. Out of context, that perhaps sounds strange, but you forget that I am a Guide. I’ve grown up camping in fields and singing around the campfire. The campfire signifies peace, laughter and friendship. The campfire always comes at the end of the day, and it’s important to remember that tomorrow will be a new day.

As I sat in my friend’s field, and I watched the flames lick the wood, I found that for a little while, I drifted into my own little world. Many of my friends had gone to mix cocktails or put on their PJs. The music had stopped, and I savoured the quiet. The crackle of the wood as it burnt was the only sound that could be heard. I watched the flames dancing over the logs, and slowly, it burnt down into a pile of embers. The glowing ash is often more beautiful than the fire itself. I was truly content, just for a moment. I’ve missed fires.

It seems however, that when you are content can often be when reality hits you the hardest. It wasn’t long before an unexpected fear was slipping down my face. Why it happened, I don’t really know. Perhaps just that moment of escape allowed my emotions to be completely free. I spend so much of my life tense, stressed, and concentrating on control, to let go is very much an alien feeling. Even today, when on a first aid course and being used as a ‘casualty’ (I knew the trainer!) I was constantly being told to relax, and that I was too tense to work with.

A few seconds later, my friends returned. I wiped the tear away, and the feeing of overwhelming relief went with it.

Living, laughing. Loving.



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