It’s the beginning of Summer on the old Irish calendar. It’s said that we should be lighting bonfires, driving our cattle between the fires and jumping over the flames. The most I could possibly manage would be jumping over a Bunsen Burner. I seemed too busy today to manage this, and it would have probably failed the risk assessment anyway. It is also said that the fire in the house should be put out and then relit with the embers from the Beltane bonfires. I assume this echos back to when we believed that the fire was a kind of life of it’s own and it never went out all year. There is something in that, something deep and ancient. Are we not separated by animals by fire, Prometheus, and a digestive system adapted for cooked food. Our brains are power hungry and demand food sacrificed to the chemical alteration by heat. I will admit that it is so much more relaxing to have the fire lit in the living room; to hear it crackle slowly and to smell the woodsmoke as the wood stove door is opened to feed it. Yet, it has lost it’s mystical life. When I see the yellow I see incandescent soot and I ponder the heat of the fumes before I decide if it needs another log.
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