One of my favorite activities this time of year is lighting a bonfire. The bright flames conjure memories of crisp evenings, yardwork with my brother and father, and high school homecoming pep rallies. Stacking debris high and striking a match always ignites something exciting within.
I remember running inside to beg Mama for coat hangers, hotdogs and marshmallows. Standing as close as we dared to the blaze, we circled until we found to perfect spot to roast our supper after a long afternoon of racking and picking up limbs.
I can still feel the heat on my hands and face, and see the dripping grease from my hotdog as its edges turn black. I hear the crackling, pops and sizzles. Smell the burn as marshmallows turn from white to gold to brown to black. We watch them closely, our eyes and mouths watering. Some are lost, catching fire and melting the sweet smell of caramel onto the glowing logs.
I still hear the shouts and laughter, see the sparks rise to meet the stars, feel the breeze of an autumn night lift my hair and cool my face as I gaze into the deliciously eerie dark sky.
A bonfire’s light and heat strike comfortable memories of family and home comfort. It ignites seasonal celebrations of anticipation and fulfillment. Provides safety from danger, light for clarity and warmth. October burns with rituals ancient as the very first lightning strike, bright as my need for love and joy.