Monday, September 19, 2005

"It only takes a spark"

Some of my most cherished recollections are from around the fire. One particularly vivid memory for me is the image of flames representing the Holy Spirit that adorned the wall of my childhood pastor, Dr. Vernon Marples' study. Whenever I was in that room I was always sort of entranced by it. When I lived in Manchester, I read a serious "History of Fire" which tried to explain some of the beauty and attraction of the flame. The great myth of Prometheus stealing fire is as true and timely today as ever. And of course, for us in the Judeo-Christian stream of things, we must always remember the powerful metaphor that "our God is a consuming fire." Cleansing, the refining of precious metals (and the requisite Brian Doerksen hymns) readily come to mind. Yet there is also something profoundly wholesome about the hearth. As a wedding gift, David and Anna gave us this beautiful Turkish brazier from Lee Valley Tools. The brazier is really just a large copper bowl on a metal stand that you can kindle a fire in. We got some square masonry bricks and put ours in the back yard. So some new memories are beginning. Have begun. Our new summer with new campfires is becoming a memory. I want to have a few more fires before it gets too cold. Fall is fast on its way to Edmonton.

I remember that line from Moxy Fruvous' "Gulf War Song," (yeah I remember lots of Moxy Fruvous, if you can believe it) that talks about having had "twenty-five sweet summers, and hot fires in the cold." That's been my life, though I guess now it's up to 27 sweet summers. I guess its the quintessential twenty-something Canadian's experience. And I'm pretty thankful for it all. Silver Lake. Charis. My back yard. Lindeman, Cultus, Tamihi, Mackenzie Beach and Long Beach, Harmattan. So many more. Krista has these kind of memories too. Poking the stick in until its red hot. I remember my Dad's birthday one year at Silver Lake (we were already there at the end of May!)... and Pam made icing for the cake out of Cool Aid mix. Sweet summers indeed! This summer we've already had great nights here. With musical friends (cue the Bruce Cockburn). "And we can pass on endings till the end... me and my musical friends." The warmth and light allowing us to read and talk and sing. Summer turns to Autumn, and Fall to Winter and then it will be Spring again. In my mind and heart, I can already here my Dad's voice over his old EKO guitar, joined by dozens of exuberant kids:

That's how it is with God's love
Once you've experienced it
It's fresh like Spring
You want to sing
You want to pass it on.


Blogger Droughtweeks said...

I'd like to play hockey, have kids and grow old...

Hey Matt, I remember a lot of Moxy Fruvous songs too, and secretly, The Gulf War Song is one of my favourite all-time songs. I'm not sure what it is about fires... this last weekend we played an outdoor show in a park on a beautiful Saturday and then gathered at in Pat's back-yard for a fire and a barbeque with friends new and old. As the night got chilly we circled close to the warmth and passed jokes around, creating new running gags "be careful--your SKIN!", made s'mores and tried to scrounge for more wood.

I find fire's consumptive nature kinda fascinating. Even the empty bottles we tossed in were melted into new unrecognizable shapes. The fire renders almost everything to ash and soot and tosses it into the night.

9:00 AM  
Blogger Matthew Francis said...

Such sweet harmonies, them Moxy Fruvous boys. Just reminds me so much of the amazing breadth and freshness of adolescence.

That's pretty impressive that the fire melted the bottles, too.

Was that Riley Park where you guys played?

10:50 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

They're MY pic for the Order of Canada.


1:36 PM  

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