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Fireside bonding

in Life Lessons, Parenting, Random Musings, Romance


Photo by carloszk on

This weekend my family had our first fireside afternoon. I got it lit about 2:00 PM and ran out of wood at 10:00. It was the most relaxing, therapeutic, joyful day that I’ve had in a long time. Sharing a fire with people I love rejuvenates my soul.

Breaking bread vs fireside chat

Traditionally, sharing a meal with people is an act of acceptance and unity. When my husband and I first started looking into how to host a house church meeting, breaking bread with our house guests was strongly encouraged.

When we had people over, we went through the motions of meals, but I never thought food connected me with my guests. I feel the same way about family meals. I like the idea of sitting at a table and having time together, but real conversation is limited with full mouths. To really connect with my kids, I need something more.

Childhood fires

I remember as a young girl that my parents would start fires in the lot beside our house and neighbors would gather around with lawn chairs for corn shucking or pea shelling parties. We would chat, laugh, and prep vegetables around a pile of burning leaves and brush. That is probably where the tradition of fire came from for me personally, but looking closer at it, I realize that the intimacy associated with fire runs deeper than my family’s traditions.

The power of fire

When you think about it, fire grows intimacy. We have candlelight dinners on romantic occasions. We snuggle by the fire on cool winter evenings. We surround our bubble baths with candles to relax us. Carolers carry candles to bring good will to people. We light candles to remember people or to pray for them in religious ceremonies. Unity candles are popular at weddings. We celebrate birthdays by lighting candles. And of course one of the best fire traditions I have ever had the honor to be part of was the Aggie Bonfire before our rivalry game each Thanksgiving.

My husband tells me that a campfire hits my reset button like bicycling hits his. Flames are soul-cleansing. With fire being this meaningful to my life and sanity, it sure makes me wonder why I live in Texas.



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