105 – Fire

Click the video above for 2 minutes of background waves while reading.

I like walking on the beach. It is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

Looking at the sea reminds me of different fires. The calm sea is the campfire we gather around to talk, laugh, and cuddle, while the turbulent sea is the raging blaze of terror. However, in between those two are a multitude of fires.

Fire, blaze, flame, firestorm, inferno, and fireballs are a few names – all that started with a light, match, spark, trigger, or a catch.

Photo by Little Visuals on Pexels.com

Fire from burning wood, wax, coal, paper, gasoline, kerosene, propane, butane, natural gas, and more – each producing dancing flames accompanied by musical pops, roars, glows, and sizzles – but leaving us with ashes, soot, embers, cinders, and chars.

I wonder how early humans came to know and harness fire – the same fire propelling humanity out of the Stone Age and into the Bronze Age.

I think about burning coal in large furnaces to boil water to create the steam that turns the turbines to produce electricity to meet our needs. The large furnaces melt metals to form steel, mold iron, and other alloys. The high temperatures of specialized ovens create molten glass for glassmakers to show their artistry.

I think about farmers burning land to cultivate the soil to prepare for planting. However, the hot conditions of fire also cause certain pine cones to release their seeds during the forest fire that will lead to rejuvenating a forest. The natural fire in Earth’s core creates the molten lava that spews from a volcano that potentially leaves a path of destruction on its journey to a final resting spot as volcanic rock.

Fires that we use to bake, burn, melt, dry, boil, cook, grill, roast, simmer, smoke, sizzle, toast, and barbecue.

Photo by u0412u0430u0434u0438u043c u041cu0430u0440u043au0438u043d on Pexels.com

The fires of fireworks give us a multitude of colors – colors from different chemicals burning to display their unique color.

Fire creates many contrasting thoughts – natural examples of juxtaposition: majestic and catastrophic, romantic and dangerous, mesmerizing and explosive, sacred and deadly, ethereal and angry, cheerful and devastating, plus soothing and raging.

Fire is something that we can feed, fuel, stoke, and fan; then at the end bury, douse, cover, snuff, extinguish, or even let die out – but not before staring and gazing to allow our mesmerized mind to wander and wonder.

I think of alarms alerting the fire department – those modern-day bucket brigades of firefighters wearing heat and fire-resistant suits. These first responders work with pumps, hoses, nozzles, shovels, axes, foams, retardants, extinguishers, and ladders while dealing with backdrafts, accelerants, fumes, heat, flashpoints, and structural collapse.

Fire breathes, eats, consumers, and aches. Fire can flare up, engulf, and act as a barrier, yet firefighters use their knowledge, courage, and dedication to tackle what most of us cannot do – and not out of selfishness, but for the sake of others.

Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

Fire has a motivational side because we don’t want anyone to put out the fire within us. On the other hand, there are times when we need someone to ignite the fire in our belly. To provoke, excite, arouse, and initiate the passion, spirit, vigor, vitality, or intensity with fire and brimstone. However, there are times when the untamed romantic fire can get to the best of us.

Where there’s smoke, there’s fire – but not necessarily a smoking gun. I doubt if anyone truly enjoys baptism by fire because problems can spread like wildfire and become uncontrollable – and certainly not when we have too many irons in the fire.

People can also fire weapons, plus bosses can fire employees; but I focused this walk on fire as a noun, not a verb.

Cooking, warmth, manufacturing, effect, lighting, energy, destruction, and more all deal with fire. Flames and blazes always come to mind – let alone the giant fireball we see in the daytime sky that nourishes life and souls at the beach and elsewhere. Meanwhile, I like walking on the beach because it is good for the mind, body, and soul – and refreshing on my feet.

See what other bloggers have posted about Fire

Next Post: Science – Wednesday 19th January @ 1 AM (Eastern US)

77 thoughts on “105 – Fire”

  1. Love the fire in your belly here Frank!

    So true!..
    “Fire has a motivational side because we don’t want anyone to put out the fire within us. On the other hand, there are times when we need someone to ignite the fire in our belly.

    Liked by 4 people

  2. I find fire frightening and beautiful. Fire has a mind of its’ own. Sometimes we think we have it contained and it just isn’t. This goes for the internal fire we have within us AND the fire we create for warmth at a campfire or in our fireplace……there’s danger we must at least be aware of. The fire that burns within can consume our every waking minute – I recall when I was writing my novel I “had” to write every day – HAD to. That was to satisfy my personal fire. When I see the uncontrollable fires out west and other places I cry at the destruction and loss of human and wildlife as well as landscapes and homes – fire consumes it all and moves on until finally controlled. I no longer have a fire within – I have a comfortable warmth though ! Great blog with interesting directions to go…….I like that!

    Hugs, Pam

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Pam,
      Your comment is sincere and full of thought. You captured a range of complex feelings about fire. I recall the first big fire I ever saw – the burning of a business not far from my house. Just sitting there and watching the roar of a consuming flame. To this day, the lot is still vacant. As you mentioned, personal fires can also be consuming. The question is, “At the expense of what?” After all, we know life involves tradeoffs. Meanwhile, comfortable warmth is a good feeling. Many thanks for sharing!


  3. Interesting post, Frank. Fire is not something I’d normally think about at the beach, except for volcanoes. Of clambakes. (Cue the scene in Carousel. 😀). I agree with one spoiled cat about finding fire both frightening and beautiful. Synchronicity again, in the novel I was reading last night, there was a scene with people sitting around an outdoor fire.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sitting in front of a campfire watching the flames glow in the night is relaxing. Seeint the destruction fire can cause is sad. The secret to life for me is – no matter one’s age – never let the flame go out of your soul.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Frank, this is such an interesting read. From the nascent flame to the raging inferno, you’ve beautifully outlined it’s facet. Loved it’s analogy to man’s motivation or the lack of it.
    Also thanks so much for linking my poem to your post!
    Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Radhika,
      Thanks for the kind words about this essay. I must admit, this one seemed more difficult to write – but your comment helps me realize that it was worth the effort. Thank you for writing your poem. After all, if you didn’t write and post it, I would not have found it. 😉


  6. I’m with Cindy about the motivational aspects of fire. Without having a fire within, would any of us be blogging? It’s not like blogging is forced upon you, you just burn with the desire to write one.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. A comprehensive foray into all the meanings and metaphors of fire, Frank. It’s a powerful force in our world and where I live (in wildfire country) its destructive power is frightening and awe-inspiring. We heat with wood, so it’s also warm and welcoming. Like so many things, fire is life-giving and life-destroying, occasionally at the same time. An intense post!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Diana,
      Life in a wildfire country is both inspiring and cautious …. I like your words of frightening and awe-inspiring … Just thought of beauty and fear – but no matter how calm we try to remain, the word “fire” naturally brings an intensity with it. Thanks for sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Jo,
      I agree – fire is frightening – yet we forget about its softness – such as the flickering candle and the gentle campfire. Glad you enjoyed the video. I changed my mind many times about the closing video for this post. Many times! But maybe – just maybe those of videos may find a place with a future walk. Have a good week!

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Now you’ve got me all fired up, Frank!
    I feel the need to draw… or sew. However, I feel no fire desire to do housework.
    I wonder if you sat by a fire on the beach last night?
    I’m sure you are enjoying your snowboarding…. ERM Snowbirding! (Feels like -24C here today)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Resa,
      Glad to fire you up for some creativity – but hopefully not to do some housework. A fire last night? No – I don’t see many of them here this time of year. Believe me, many snowbirds are in probably asleep by 9 pm! It’s raining now – and tomorrow is forecasted to be cold (well, for here) … but it is still warmer than home. Fire up for some wine … .clink!


  9. ” . . . to allow our mesmerized mind to wander and wonder.” I have many fond memories of doing just that in front of a roaring fire. I used to love it when the power went out and we would all gather around the fireplace for light and warmth. Fire… It brings life and it brings death, occasionally at the same time. Such power. It makes me wonder…

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Fire is such a fascinating topic and you bring glimpses and senses of the variety of fires so completely. Fire does feel so pleasant when we are enjoying the right amount of warmth in the winter, while it can erode all our life structures in the scorching summers. I love contemplating the discovery of fire on our planet, the beginnings of how we learned to create it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. PD,
      Fire is complicated – calming yet we fear it. Warming, but it can scorch. Inviting but fearful. Then again, that’s what makes it a fascinating topic to ponder. Believe me, this one was more difficult to write than normal. Thanks for sharing.


  11. You reminded me of a Robert Frost poem: Fire and Ice!

    Some say the world will end in fire,
    Some say in ice.
    From what I’ve tasted of desire
    I hold with those who favor fire.
    But if it had to perish twice,
    I think I know enough of hate
    To say that for destruction ice
    Is also great
    And would suffice.

    Liked by 1 person

  12. The “Amazing Fire Show” video was definitely amazing! I appreciate the comparison you made to water and fire — both can bring comfort and support our lives and yet, at the same time, both can be life-threatening and impossible to control. Amazing how volcanoes can be destructive and yet create soil that is fertile and life-giving… Thanks for sharing your thought-provoking observations, Frank.

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Interesting idea, dear Frank, that fire was transporting humans from stone age to bronce age.
    But there is archaeological evidence that at least some Stone Age people used fire to clear a site of vegetation and rodents before building a camp. They also used fire to clear obstacles and create more navigable trails.
    We have no idea when the fire was first used by humans but that must have been quite a change in the early cultures.
    Levy Strauss wrote about “The Raw and the Cooked” but that’s more about mythologies if we remember it correctly.
    Thanks and keep well
    The Fab Four of Cley
    🙂 🙂 🙂 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Klaus,
      Although I imagine someone has written it, but can you imagine a book about the history of fire with humanity? I also wonder what stimulated the thought of how to create fire. It is fun to wonder. The idea of fires clearing a location is new to me, but that is plausible. Thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

  14. Fire is one of those things that has the potential for so much good AND so much bad. Keeping us warm is one thing; destroying forests is another. Thanks, Frank, for helping us to appreciate Fire in its beneficial properties while respecting it for the destroyer it can become.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Marc,
      You not only made me laugh, you ignited thoughts of Jimi singing Fire. Now why I never strung songs of fire together into a rambling thought is beyond me … Ring of Fire, Fire & Rain, Great Balls of Fire, Light My Fire, and We Didn’t Start the Fire …. and that’s for starters. Besides, all of them can be Smoke on the Water.

      Liked by 1 person

  15. I enjoy fire in the context of the fire on the beach (fond memories of San Diego BITD) and a campfire in the mountains, Frank! Funny how we go back to our basic selves to enjoy something so elemental in our day and age. We do have a new firepit on our deck but ironically it’s been too cold to sit outside to enjoy it. I PRAY the western states do not get the wildfires we’ve had over the last few years, truly devastating!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Terri,
      Definitely interesting. Campfires definitely provide many memories. Burning leaves in autumn is another – especially the distinct smell. When it comes to the fire-smell combo, the outdoor grill immediately comes to mind. My small town where I grew up used to have a big bonfire for big football games. The town’s business would provide the cardboard boxes for a pep rally around the big fire. Enjoy your new firepit & thanks for sharing.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Ah yes, the controlled burns. Living in the central valley of California for so many decades brings back that memory. Very Autumn-like. In our rural area in WA, we are allowed to burn debris on our properties—your football game memory with the cardboard reminded me of how much cardboard we burnt when we started moving in to the house last spring. What is it with men and their bonfires? LOL!

        Liked by 1 person

  16. You fired my imagination, Frank! I love to sit around a campfire or bonfire, we have a fire pit in our backyard, and just stare into the flames. I notice that sometimes I am mesmerized, almost hypnotized by the flames, and not thinking at all, which is a release and relief! Fire is so powerful, and as you remind, has a deadly potential, too.I have watched the television show “Survivor” since the beginning episode 20 years ago or so, and a key aspect of being a Survivor is being able to create fire! The ability separates the contestants into being leaders or not! Interesting beach walk reflection!

    Liked by 1 person

  17. This reminded me of the time I unwittingly set off a spontaneous fire in my car! Yikes.
    I had to return a large stainless steel salad bowl…and it was in my car while I went in the house for about 20 minutes before leaving on my errand. When I went outside again, I thought it was odd that I could smell toast? Huh? I got in my car and it was full of smoke! OH MY! I saw my bag was the source of the smoke and dragged it out of the car…the salad bowl had concentrated the sunbeams into a point…and started a fire in a wad of one dollar bills (That my sons had gotten from fundraising for school.), It was about to ignite. Thankfully other than my canvas tote bag and the wad of bills, nothing worse happened…and the bank was nice and replaced the bills with new ones. So now having first read your post about science, I could teach my sons who were in middle school at the time, about the effects of the sun with a concave mirror…a possible way to start a fire if you need to and have no matches…except you do need a sunny day.
    Lesson I learned? Don’t leave things like that uncovered in your vehicle! LOL!

    I told this to the classroom of our boys (They were in a double grade), and those kids were quite impressed! I remember as a child that I took a magnifying glass and burned my name into a cardboard box! My dad was angry and said I should not do that ever again, I do believe he was scared I would set the grass on fire as it was hot and dry in our yard,.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ingrid,
      A scary story indeed. Interesting how we look back at events through a different lens. Although still a scary thought, we can find a sense of humor in it – yet still find it a bit scary. I too can remember using a magnifying glass to ignite paper. Many thanks for sharing!


  18. Frank,
    Apologies! I somehow missed this one. I am avoiding doing work at work so I am being très bad and clearing out my emails. Imagine my shock at finding this sitting in my inbox. Now I’m all fired up.
    I saw your response to Marc and I cannot believe you never had a fire-themed musical or concert!!

    Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.