One of my favorite things, a thing I look forward to all year long, are the evenings we spend sitting around a fire in the back yard.It is a casual kind of time together; free from the distractions and lure of phones,computers and dishes in the sink.
Sometimes just a few of us talk. Sometimes we listen as one of the others plays a guitar or ukulele. Sometimes I relax and listen to night sounds, trying to pick out the different layers of sounds made by the various bugs who celebrate the evening. The other night we even tried to guess what bugs they are, how big they are and how many of them that there are. I listen to those same sounds when I am falling asleep at night. During the hot summer nights, those bugs quiet themselves, and so I take this nightly music as a confirmation and celebration of the cooler temperatures we have in the fall.
Some nights I find myself mesmerized by the dancing flames. Right now we have termites in some of the wood in our wood pile. (If you sit close enough to the pile, as listen closely, you can hear them chewing.) While I am not thrilled that they are there, and I worry that they might migrate over to our house, I do like the way that wood burns. The termites create a very fine sawdust and when you bang two of those pieces of wood together over the flames, you get a spectacular, if very brief, light show. It feels a little like magic. On those nights, I think about how I might go about painting what I see. I've never come even close to capturing it, but I like to think about how I might be able to do it.
Some nights we roast marshmallows and have S'mores. Those nights are fun, too. They are often a bit louder and sillier than the nights where we admire the fire.
Some nights, like the night Ellie took most of these photos, I bask in the joy of having my family around me, all of us enjoying being together. I am so thankful for those times.
Hopefully we will have fall for a while here in Colorado. I hope for them so that we can have many more nights around the fire. Each one is a gift.