“Fire: the Spark of Life”

Matthew - Las Vegas, Nevada
Entered on October 11, 2007
Age Group: Under 18

I believe in fire.

As a child, I was always fascinated by the elements. I spent many a lazy Sunday simply kicking my feet in the pond, watching the ripples race outward in excitement. Or climbing around in an ancient tree, so wise and patient; taking life’s wonders as they come. However, I was most fascinated by fire. Fire is devious, playful even; drawing you into its light and warmth, only to lick your hand with a tongue of flame.

Recently I realized there is difference between frost and fire other than the temperature. Frost is cold, resembling silence, death even. However, in fire lies the spark of life; heat and light. The fire itself seems alive with passion and fury. Fire provides humanity with what it needs to survive, including shelter from the cold.

I recall a specific camping trip as a child that seemed to fill up my senses. For on the night we drove in, a thunder storm swept across the forest, daring anyone to defy its awesome might. But before I could settle beneath the sturdy oaks, the lightning seemed to gather above the horizon. And for one moment, I saw blinding white light, a sphere of energy behind the mountains twice the size of the moon! I was so frightened, yet so amazed that I could hardly contain myself. Once Dad and I had finally settled on a spot, we proceeded to make a fire, when I discovered yet another way that fire seems alive; its need for attention and that it must be cared for to keep it alive. It consumes wood like food, and takes in air as though it were breathing. All things taken into account, fire truly seems to be the element of life.

As for the campfire, it seemed calming enough just to have the fire burning bright on that dark, stormy night. Once we were sheltered by its warmth, the storm seemed to calm itself. There we were, father and son, watching the clouds scatter in quiet understanding of the significance of this most sense-filling of nights. I looked into those dancing flames with new curiosity that night. I also seemed to finally understand the chaos contained in that small circle of stones: a massive destructive force capable of incinerating the trees, and burning up the entire forest in its greed for wood and air.

Fire is a part of my life, passionate and withholding great power, and I believe in its persistent embers bringing warmth even in the absence of its true form.