Primal Traditions

Just a very few tendencies seem to need no training or introduction. Sitting around a campfire is one. Funny how you don’t need much conversation or other such distraction either.

I first came across this routine when I worked at a camp for physically and mentally handicapped for two mesmerizing summers during my undergrad years. For two summers, 5 nights a week for 10 weeks, people sat around a magical fire, stared, chatted, sang, romanced, laughed, vented and gathered up energy from the crackling, glowing, scintillating jewel in their midst. Oddly the only thing you needed was the fire. All other activity, such as conversation and company, were (and still are) simply nice to haves.

Nowadays, we join a few friends for two camp outings each summer somewhere in the Washington state park system. Each night I so look forward to tying things off with a fire. People gather, crack jokes, emphatically join songs with no worries of harmony. Then you slip into moments of quiet before another raucous round kicks up. Whether you are a moth or human, the magnetic pull of a crackling fire is hard to resist. And when you see how peacefully all ages will sit and stare at a campfire, be it grandparents, or toddlers, you know you are in the company of something ancient and remarkable.

Following Reuben’s Lead…
Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2009 (click for larger image)

Warm Gathering…
Abe Pachikara, Copyright 2009 (click for larger image)

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  1. Jomy September 17, 2009 at 4:37 am

    Glad to see you back on your blog. Its been a while since you updated it. We're doing okay here in the UAE. Just graduated from my MBA. Refused to cow down to the recession. Took a job that came my way and am now in Al Ain. The kids look so grown up. Gracy is also growing up fast and that sometimes seems like such a bummer.

    See you sometime.


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