Today we started fire tending. We each signed up for two two hours shifts to tend the community fire. We are tending for two and a half days. We will tend the fire and then in a couple of days the fire will tend to us. We will offer some things to the fire in a ritualistic way.
There is something special about tending the fire as a community. It helps us to remember that we can hold things together. It helps us to know that we matter and that we have things to contribute. It helps us to remember that there was a time when we had to tend the fire because we couldn’t just go to the store and buy a lighter or matches to relight it when/if it were to burn out.
But perhaps the thing that I love most about the fire that we are tending together is that it is bringing us together more. People feel called to the fire even when it’s not their turn to tend. People feel called to the fire even at 1am when it's not even their turn to tend it. I think it’s primal. I even find myself making my way to sit by the fire for time to time.
And when this happens something else occurs, people start to talk. They slow down and share stories, they tell jokes, they help each other tend to the fire. They remember something about being together that I think in our everyday life we have forgotten. The thicken the web of connection between them. And the more they do this the less the person next to them can be the other.