How it is that the observation of a night-time fire can settle so many stirrings of the day is a question that fits snugly into Churchill's concept of a riddle, wrapped in a mystery, inside an enigma. Yet, while the answer may be just that elusive, I believe the effect that fire has on so many who stop to gaze on it is not. The ascent of the embers, the shades of fall leaves and blue skies in the flame, the lull of the crackling, and the movement of it all – these combine in some pleasantly random overture in which deep calls to deep. The tensions of the day are replaced by something deeper. The boredom of the moment is replaced with wonder. The worries of tomorrow are replaced with fascination. And whatever the agitations, they’re replaced with a contented gaze.
I think there is some innate attraction to the natural elements that we all have, to varying degrees. Stone, wood, water. Fire may be slightly more attractive due to its unpredictable nature and its many uses. Cooking, warming, lighting, entertaining, and the presence of mind it can bring to those who take the time to ponder its peculiar, yet gripping, nature.
As you consider breaking up your fallow ground this coming spring, consider fire and the benefits it can bring.