Monday, November 01, 2010

The Power of Fire

There are few things that make me feel so powerful and so dangerous at the same time as burning all the fallen twigs and branches that end up in the lawn and across my long country driveway.  They get piled into a large pile as high as my head and crackle and sputter as I poke and prod to keep the fire in bounds.  Maybe this exhilaration comes because as children we were warned and warned about playing with fire, and suddenly, now that we are all grown up we can!  


I once stopped a scampering fire from racing across my back yard under a small forest of oak trees while living in another house.  It had been set by the neighbor's children while playing with a cigarette lighter.  Had I not looked out the window that windy day, it would have burned my house down in short time.  The boys were barely 6 or 7 and really had no idea what damage they could have caused...including, perhaps, to themselves.  My house was close by the scampering flames that raced across the brown leaves.  The children had just run away realizing it was out of control.  The hose was nearby and allowed me to rush out and drown the beast.

This time while I watched the flames and the floating ash, the flicker or woodpecker was shouting at me the whole afternoon hidden somewhere in the red and golden leaves.  Perhaps because I was destroying a wing of his supermarket, the one with those rare gourmet grubs.

I do leave a percentage of the large limbs and trees for shelter and food, but I am a tidy owner of this strip of land and fear fires that could be started by lightning, especially after a long drought, and I would have to string 4 hoses together to get out to this area...which I did in safety for this little adventure.

14 comments:

Leah J. Utas said...

Fire is a beautiful and terrible thing. It kills and renews and most of all it likes to win. Great post.

Eric Alder said...

Feeling your 'inner-pyro' eh? I remember setting fire to a neighbor's ditch when I was a kid. (He came out and extinguished it with a hose) I got the standard 'don't play with matches' speech when I got home.

These days I still love a nice campfire, but I'm much more careful about 'playing' with fire.

Brian Miller said...

i spent a year living outdoors right after college...spent many a nights gazing into the fire...it can be a beautiful thing..

ellen abbott said...

Fire is definitely fascinating. We had a an arsonist in my city neighborhood (and adjoining neighborhoods) last year. burned down nearly 20 (vacant) houses before the fires stopped.

My burn pile out here in the country needs to be torched but we need to check and see if there is a burn ban since it's been so dry.

Bossy Betty said...

Fire is fascinating. Try not to burn down any more grocery stores though, OK?

Celia said...

Fire is magical too. I love watching campfires when the little lines of heat creep along the sticks and logs; it's fascinating, like some kind of miniature pyroclastic road, to where I wonder? And then your face feels like it was baked in the sun.

I keep my more urban yard cleaned up of debris too as I live in a very dry place in a town with many, many large trees. People don't think towns can have a forest fire but it happens.

One Woman's Journey said...

I love the warmth of a small fire.
Miss having a woodburning fireplace. Will only burn the firepit in my yard when family if here. A year ago this cottage was finished and there was help to clean the area between the woods and home. Burning piles of wood went on for weeks. Now I just do not feel comfortable having an outside fire. But then it has been very dry. I am just making piles of branches in different areas. Guess the wood animals will love them.

Maggie said...

No fires here. I cannot imagine it at all. Yet just this morning, I noticed the sea was edged with a thick black strip of smoke. Somewhere north of us is a fire. What a frightening thing.

Hilary said...

Gotta love a good fire. It's quite universal.. much like the love of being near water. And important to have the latter near the former. ;)

deb said...

(Hilary's comments are always so brilliant )

my husband was always our camping pyro.

I could smell the first of someone's fireplace going here tonight.... it's comforting.

slommler said...

We here all live in fear of fires. No open burning allowed.
But I do remember the smell when I lived in Ohio!

Midlife Jobhunter said...

Fire can be extremely frightening, yet beautiful. Sort of like life.

Dave King said...

I think we have all had these conflicting feelings when faced with fires of varying sorts, but we don't all write as well as this about them.

Tammie Lee said...

Fire is indeed an intense entity. I will be burning some piles soon and I am very aware of how safe I will need to be. I am glad your house was ok!