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Hummingbird Makes a Fire

January 14, 2012

This morning I built a fire. I like a good fire especially when I am writing. But I find it is not an easy thing to build a fire the antique way. One must crouch like an old man by the firebox, and set the tinder up just so. One cannot drift away early on to make a cup of tea and feed the dogs. If one has the attention span of a hummingbird, one must stay by the fire as though one were a woodpecker honing in on a tree or a soldier by a fallen comrade, waiting for help to arrive. One must have the ambition to make a fire, as opposed to the weaker ambition to try and make a fire. One must have a burning desire and singular intent. And, I should mention, the right tools. One must have matches, dry twigs, sticks and logs in ascending diameter and suitable length. I am in short supply of tinder at the moment, and what remains is covered in snow and will have to be brought in and dried out. You will have to carry me kicking and screaming to the hardware store to buy an overpriced bundle of fatwood that is to my chimney what bacon is to arteries. I am not the kind of woman to build a cheap fire. What kind of woman I am, I am not sure, but not that kind. In a couple of years my knees will go, or I will transfer my fiery ambition to another area; perhaps I will become a Girl Scout Leader and teach young girls to build fires, or I will buy a fire app with a nice crackling sound and get right down to writing.


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3 Comments leave one →
  1. whatsizname permalink
    January 14, 2012 2:37 pm

    One match?

  2. Michele permalink*
    January 14, 2012 2:41 pm

    Yes, but way too much paper and anxious tending. Clearly I need a tutorial.

  3. Matt Nicodemus permalink
    January 16, 2012 12:13 am

    Ah, those tinder moments! What,,,,warm memories I have of firestarting — in the Evanston living room for family nights, on camping and backpacking trips, for Boy Scout jamboree competitions (followed, in one instance, by boiling water in a paper cup set directly in the flames and then cooking of M&M pancakes to obtain a very respectable station score).

    For the less confident or patient Girl Scouts, is there the equivalent of “Boy Scout water” that is, on occasion, used to aid a young campfire’s growth?

    Myself, I’m going to go night now and see whether the fireplace here at my mother’s is only gas or gives the option of DIY.

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