Ever wonder why a crackling fire draws you towards it like a moth to a flame? The fire’s warmth is more than just heat; the foods you cook on a flame add more than nourishment.
One of my favorite memories as a kid growing up in the Research Triangle in North Carolina was the annual church hayride at the country home of our friends, the Barbours. We lived in a suburb of the state capital, close to physically yet far away from life on the outskirts of town filled with Tobacco fields, cotton patches, and red dirt roads.
The Barbours had some farm that my little self couldn’t comprehend. In reality, they may have had just land, yet to me; land meant a farm. And besides, they had a big ol’ barn, tractors, and hosted the annual hayride.
My favorite part of the memory was the firepit, where everyone gathered around, laughed, and enjoyed each other’s company. It didn’t matter if you were a kid or elderly.
Nourish each other.
Webster’s Dictionary has two excellent definitions for the word nourishment. One is “to provide with food,” and the other is “to provide for,” to provide support.
I love that.
Just as food sustains and keeps us alive, feeling supported sustains us mentally, emotionally, and spiritually. It’s how we build bonds, friendships, and hope for the future.
While the weather is still cool outside, why not invite a friend over for drinks and nibbles by a campfire? Someone who could use a little encouragement and support? And if you’re that someone, even better.
My in-laws used to invite all the church brethren to come over the evening after services for a night of bonfires, boxed wine, and cheddar cheese—weekly and year after year. It was incredible, and friendships were made and strengthened.
Firepits are all shapes and sizes.
Dennis and I have always been drawn to a fire. We’ve never rented an apartment, duplex, or home without a fireplace. The homes we have designed, built and remodeled all have a fireplace as a central feature. Outside firepits have ranged from the simplest of sticks and stones to fancy schmancy.
You may think, “But I don’t have a fireplace or firepit! What can I do?”
Youtube a crackling fireplace video or a firepit on a beach. Dim the lights and turn the crackle up. Invite yourself to a friend’s home with ample backyard and offer to bring ‘smores. Go to a park.
On Sunday, we were snaking our way back home from a weekend in Branson and passed a state park on the side of the road. As we drove past, I thought about the covered pavilion with the stone fireplace, picnic tables, and wood stoves scattered throughout the park. Most pavilions are free to reserve, and firepits are first come, first serve.
California was like that for us. Dennis and I would head out to the reservoir with his parents on Friday evenings to fish until sunset. We would bring hotdogs and light a fire on the little camp grills and enjoy the open sky, the warm summer air, the simple food, and each other’s company.
We were nourished.
Eat well, my friends.