Jack makes it across the line again –
Wendy and I decided we needed a fire pit in our back yard. So I surveyed the area and decided where it should be. The only trouble was that a pile of brush gathered by our predecessor was already there. So off to confer with Dr Google about the easiest way to build a fire pit and what do about that brush.
It turned out that there was a state-wide ordinance in place that between February and April you can’t burn garden stuff before 4 pm or after midnight. We were still in April at this point!
I wandered out again around 5 pm and looked at that pile of brush while aware of the lighter in my pocket. Could I? Should I? I wondered afterwards if that’s how arsonists feel. Are they overcome with the desire to just see flames? Something outside of me took over and I set the brush afire!
As I watched it my first thoughts were whether the neighbors would complain or even phone the police.
But then I was transported back to another place – my childhood.
I remembered sitting in front of our coal fireplace gazing into the flames and being sucked into another world, while listening to favorite programs on the radio – Dick Barton, Special Agent; The Goon Show; Around the Horne – – –
My Dad was an expert painter and decorator and specialized in faux wood-graining and marbling. He made his own crayons from simple ingredients and dried them beside the fireplace. Along with the smell of them drying came back the memory of the fish ‘n chip van outside sounding it’s horn and the smell of lard over that other open charcoal fire – – –
Do we have an old memory of the fire ceremonies that heralded the approach of spring and the new harvest? Is that why fire fascinates us so much?
At 5 p.m. you were legal! In Scott County I’ve always been told fires in pits or barrels were legal, as are fires in wood stoves, but some years there is valid concern about sparks igniting dry grass.