I watched the twilight fade away as night began to fall. We had decided to go camping for the weekend. It was a most wonderful getaway from the world, to be with the world.
I had come here with friends, but we all knew I’d be spending most of my time alone. I took my place as we prepared for the fire. For once, I decided to not to help, but rather just sit and watch the whole process unfold. I felt too tired, and all I needed was a break.
My friends seemed to understand, and left me unbothered. It was kind of them, I thought, when I noticed that they barely even approached me with any request. I smiled to myself, and just enjoyed their synchronized movements, as one was putting the twigs, another collecting big wood for longer lasting fires, another placing the rocks around the wood, while another was getting ready to start the fire. One of them was putting out a few snacks around for everyone to eat as we sat around the fire. In a few minutes’ time, everyone just sat around and waited for the fire to grow.
Not seconds passed till the crackling fires burst into life, and the flames reached out to the skies. I heard it breathe in the catalysts that summoned her into existence. It was beautiful. I had always been mesmerized by fire.
As we sat under a billion stars, we enjoyed the warmth of the fire that embraced us on a cold midsummer night. The sound of the trees dancing along with the calm breeze seemed to soothe us. The night seemed to lack moonlight, but that didn’t bother me. In fact, I was more preoccupied by the flames that seemed to call out for me, and I responded faithfully.
I zoned out of reality, as my eyes reflected the mighty flames, and I could no longer see anything other than them. I began to see into them, through them, and beyond them as I lost all sense of time, and I was taken into a journey that was lit by fire, each step of the way. I began to hear stories as old as time, in languages I could not understand. The voices spoke over each other, but they sounded like whispers in a distant past. I could hear the chants of our ancient ancestors, but they were as clear as day. They sounded like the sounds of people who belonged to the earth.
As the flames began to form blurry images of them, I could see in their ancient wise eyes all the secrets they’ve kept within those fires as they spoke in hushed tones amongst themselves. My mind was trying to grasp it all, but I could feel like I was failing at doing so.
I could see how they summoned the spirits within the fires, and how they controlled the flames as they pleased. They were masters of their art, and Lords over a natural element. I could see no fear, but rather a sense of superiority towards this dark creature which blessed them with lights, and a sense of belonging to the spirits it holds within.
I understood the connection they had with this element of nature. They spoke to it as if it were a being that held life, and I knew, for a moment, as I could sense it myself, that it was. I held the lives of the ancients within it. When the crackles come to life, the one breath it takes, is the thousand breaths the lives that inhabit it take. I could hear them as they echoed back answers and stories to all questions asked by those manipulating the fires.
They needed not the catalysts we used today, oh no. They only needed the sound of one man, who spoke with such strength and confidence, that the flames did as he pleased, from the moment they erupted into existence, to the moment they laid back into rest within their ashes.
I could feel their strength surge through their veins, and the bond of brotherhood that was tied with a sense of trust that spoke louder than mere words. I saw how they communicated not with empty words, but with their silence and eyes. It was all too overwhelming.
I heard the spirits speak to them through the fires. Unfortunately for my curious ears, I was not worthy of those wise words.
It was sudden as the darkness engulfed the fire that I had been looking into. I was cast back into my real world, where everyone was asleep, and I was left alone, sitting under the billion stars. It was a world that lacked the life I had seen in the eyes of those men, who seemed to know the language of an Earth, that seemed to cry out to us, but we couldn’t respond, for we had wandered far from its motherly arms.