Pretty much the same goes when my dad, Opa Jaja, builds a fire. It's big, it's tribal and it brings the family clan together. The wood is gathered for months before a big reunion, it's stacked high, it's meticulously kept dry under a tarpaulin, and then when the big day comes - BOOM - it lights up like a meteorite just landed in our backyard. Apparently, one year, Opa Jaja poured enough fire lighter fluid over the wood (in the pre-tarpaulin years, when the wood was often wet and soggy) that the entire lawn set alight like a crepe suzette. I wasn't around that year, but the story has entered family lore.
The thing about a fire is - no matter how big or small - you can't not love it as it crackles and cackles from a burning orange fireball into a glowing pile of white-hot sticks and embers. This summer, like all summers, the kids (mine, my sister's and my brother's) became the chief's litter helpers and crumpled up newspaper to add to the wood. They scoured the garden to find the perfect marshmellow roasting stick. They waited for the fire to set light, and then just like us grown-ups they watched, transfixed for hours, as the fire slowly, majestically, burned down to a pile of ash.
What you need:
- A match
Top Tip: Make sure you are in a place where building fires is allowed. Also not a bad idea to have a fire extinguisher nearby. Just in case.
Top Quote: "From a little spark may burst a flame." Dante Alighieri