Sunday, April 19, 2009

Come to the Fireside

“The old-fashioned home with its fireside companionship, its religious devotion and its closely-knit family ties is my idea of what a home should be."
~Father Edward Flanagan
Father Flanagan started Boys Town. He INVITED children into love, warmth, belonging. Bill had a fire in the fireplace when I came downstairs at 5 am. It smells like the beach to me. It reminds me of the bonfires we had on Guemes Island when we were kids. Mom and Dad rented a cabin a few times so we could spend a week at the beach. The fishing cabins were sparse. Mom brought all the food, packed our bags, filled the car with gas and we would rush to catch the ferry boat that left every hour from Anacortes. I smell it now, thanks to Bill's industrious morning and I wanted you to see our little fire of hearth and home. I went to Camp Lutherwood when I was a child and we had a campfire every evening. We'd dress in long pants (I wore royal blue corduroys and an orange crew-neck sweatshirt), buy a Pepsi at the snack shop, and hunker down to sing new songs with our fellow campers. I liked looking around at the kids in the firelight. I felt such a sense of comradery. Later, we'd pad back to our cement floored cabins, crawl into our sleeping bags and drift off to sleep, the smell of firelight still in our stringy hair. Years later, at Malibu Club, when Bill was running the program or speaking at Young Life camp, I'd take the kids back to our cabin and if it had rained all day (British Columbia is wet) I'd try to rustle up a warm fire to while away the evening. That smell again. So true, so warm, so inviting. Yes, it's spring and yes, the ground will remain covered in white until tomorrow, and today I am blessed with a fire.


Brad said...

I agree. Fires are special. The smell is so wonderful, the heat that comes from it is so honest. It seems so simple and good. It can do damage, but the threat makes it better, because real things are threatening when mismanaged. If we aren't gentle with our fires they will go out or burn up more than we want them to. If we are not careful with our relationships they will consume our happiness. There is a reality to fires in fireplaces and campgrounds that I really enjoy. Thank you for your precious thoughts!

Kelli said...

The image of you buying a Pepsi at the snack shop at camp is so sweet. Your whole post made me wish those were my memories! :)