Campfires create a special sort of magic. I have no idea how many campfires I’ve sat around with family and friends over the years, but I know they have been filled with laughter and conversation and shared secrets and jokes, and history.
We’ve just returned from 3 nights of camping on the Oregon coast and it was lovely. Adventures and beauty and fun.
We had a campfire every night and on a couple of mornings. I love how we gather round and all get involved. Jude has learned a lot about campfires from Grandpa and he has become a master at making wood shavings to start our fires. We try very hard to not use any accelerants and it’s a fun challenge for us all to make it happen.
One night around the fire, we told a one word at a time story where everyone gets to add one word to our story. The stories are usually odd and funny – this night was no exception. Smokey Bear was actually a chicken and then Donald Duck and Donald Trump were causing trouble, so they were sent to a town in Iceland called Hawaii. Barrack Obama came along and saved the day and then he agreed to stay on as president for a while longer. There was a bunch of other stuff that happened, but I can’t remember it all. No idea where all this was coming from, but we laughed so much. It was magical.
Another night, we had a wide-ranging conversation that began with a question about lawyers and the law – we discussed the justice system we have in the United States, its flaws and the many good things about it. We moved on to family and vows and had an amazing time talking about the ways we are similar and the ways we are different and how cool that is. Jude and I are so much alike, but there are also ways in which Colin and Jude are alike – they are both good debaters and would make great lawyers. Zane and Colin are very much alike, but Zane and I are alike in ways too. Zane and I both are peacemakers and very empathetic.
We are all working hard to earn our next belt in karate – blue, so we went around and each said what we thought we needed to work on so that we would be ready to test. Me – Japanese and kihon drills, Colin – kihon drills, Jude – kiais, Zane – stances!
We talked about empathy and the importance of thinking about how others feel and what circumstances they might be coming from. We talked about lying and being trustworthy.
Then, out of the blue, Jude said that he thinks of life as a journey and there are times when you are at a petrol station and you get fueled up and then there are ramps and jumps and those might be hard and scary, but they can be exciting and fun too.
Then Zane said he thought about the good times in life being filled with light and like day time and the sad, hard times being dark and night time. So we talked about how even at night, there are cool things like campfires and stars and fireworks – so there can be joy and light in the darkness.
I cried when I thought about these amazing 9 and 7 year old boys – how thoughtful and deep, how the whole conversation had flowed and how blessed and full I felt. And then things got silly again and we laughed and played. And I’m telling you, campfires are magical.