The idea of a cabin secluded in the woods sounds attractive to many of us.
In fact, nearly everything about the woods seems so beautiful and perfect that I still fantasize of living in a forest home beside a cascading stream. The sounds there would be perfect: woodpeckers and loons, frogs and wrens all punctuating the Zen of flowing water continually rounding stones. The smells of pinesap, ripening berries and wood smoke coming from the chimney would be heaven on earth. I could watch the changing colors of the sky each hour, and the flora each season, right from my front porch. And the fauna…
If good souls should come a-visiting, I’d light a campfire so we could sit in the quiet of evening and share life stories while watching fiery blades duel between their oranges and blues. Snap. Snap. The conversation would quiet, as flames contract into orange-red glowing coals. Then would come the tall tales, told in the dark and packed with drama. Like television for prehistoric peoples, it would be magical.
Today, campfire tales and memories still sound swell, and I’m certain we all have some stories to tell. So, let’s get together, and I’ll light a fire. Each week we can share a short story by the pyre.
May this original short story generate many future contributions to our campfire arts and dialogue group:
Once upon a time, there were two hikers following a trail that ran up and over a remote corner of Life’s Lessons Mountain. On the far side they’d been told, lay a valley of unsurpassed beauty. Neither had ever seen anything but “surpassed” beauty, so they were both hiking with abandon to see what lay over the summit.
Just as the first hiker rounded a hairpin turn on the steep ascent, he saw a huge bear lumbering down the trail toward him. “Look out, ahead!” he shouted back over his shoulder as he leaped sideways into the trees and began climbing one. “Better step off the trail. There’s big trouble a-coming your way!”
But the second pilgrim never faltered. He just kept on climbing. “I’m not afraid,” he called up toward his friend in the tree. “I figure, on Life’s Lessons Mountain, every man will have his own bear to cross. This one’s mine, I guess.”
When they met up on the trail the hiker jumped up on that beast’s back, spun him around and galloped him over to the land of unsurpassed beauty. Although not possible, the view seemed even sweeter from the top of that bear.
By Kate Peters, retired Alaskan pioneer, 2017
I hope to hear from you soon. You can attach your own photo of a campfire if you’d like, and we’ll post it right here,
I’m lighting a campfire. Please sit down and join me.
Mahalo, Kate Peters