On a bonfire

There is something completely primeval about a fire that speaks to a primitive memory that we all harbor in the deepest, darkest reaches of our DNA. We see fire and we turn toward it. Fire is at once both a saving grace and a sign of destruction, warmth and salvation, smoke and ash. We build fires to celebrate community in a ritual so old we have no memory of its origins, no memory of its meaning, but we cling to the light in the darkness as it protects us from shadows, both known and unknown. The bonfire, whether on a beach or in the woods, wards off the approaching specters, shielding us from our own irrational fears. The fire provides light and warmth against the dark and cold, the difference between making it and perishing. The memories are both collective and ancient, unspoken and unnamed, reaching into the darkness before even words mattered. The bonfire becomes a modern ritual of celebration that we cling to without knowing why. The bonfire commemorates our success, lights our road into the future, chases away the shadows. We are drawn inevitably toward the flame, like moths, yes, but more than moths. The light illuminates our darkest dreams and desires, filling us with logic and reason, and the warmth pushes away, if only for a moment, the cold and cruel reality of everyday life. Perhaps what the bonfire really stands for is hope, hope for the future where a bright, warm light shines, keeping at bay the chaos and lighting the path that we find so dear.