Sunday, February 7, 2010
Sentimental Sunday: Bonfire
Growing up, I longed for the evenings when my father arrived home from work and was not yet ready to retire from the outdoors. These special evenings meant that we would soon be gathering around an old tractor tire rim in the backyard. My father would fill it with wood and create a fire, while my mother would gather the fixings for s'mores. Us kids would gather benches and camping chairs, excited for the postponement of our bedtime.
Often, we would spend the next hour or two huddled around that tire rim, chatting about nothing of importance, and making tasty s'mores. My favorite of these nights were the nights that we would just sit in silence, no one sensing the need for words. We were nestled deep in our little valley of the Driftless Area and life seemed to stand still. The sun would slowly sink below the Ocooch Mountains and we would watch in wonder as the stars began to shine. I was always in awe of how spectacular that blanket of stars twinkling above me shined.
To this day, these nights are some of my favorite childhood memories. We try to relive them when all of us kids are home, but the mystery is no longer there. There is always something to talk about and we are always checking our phones. Even the s'mores have been replaced by plain old marshmallows and beer. But even with all these changes, these nights still represented the most important thing my parents ever taught me: that we are to seek out and cherish... our time with family.