The evening is warm, but the overcast sky and brisk breeze brings with it a hint of possible rain. The light is fading as I pull an old wheelbarrow to in front of the summerhouse whose doors are open to welcome the summer night. The barrow has a layer of bricks in the bottom and on these I have built a fire with logs from the woodpile. The fire is lit and it takes only a few minutes before the logs are well ablaze and flames are reaching up warms with wild energy. Sparks occasionally jump out and add to the spectacle. As the darkness draws in so the firelight warms the woodwork of the summerhouse with a deep orange glow and the fire settles to a gentle steady burn that takes all possibility of a slight chill away.
The garden feels incredibly peaceful. The low roar of the gentle flames is reflected in the sound of the background town traffic. Not far way the peace is broken by the crackle of some fireworks - presumably a small celebratory display of some sorts. Apart from this my peace is undisturbed.
With me I have my drum. I haven't played it for several years. I never played it in our old garden, it never seemed right and I always felt self-conscious as neighbours were often moving about their gardens at night. Here, in the new house, the end of the garden seems much more private and remote and so it was with a gentle hand that I felt comfortable in returning to an old friend. So, by the warm light of the glowing logs I played and just relaxed into a special time of peace and reflection.
I thought about how our earthly existence most likely originally began with fire and to fire it will return. In the middle of this we have come to an existence where by fire has become to be something more of something managed by man though nature still has the ultimate power to use it as she will. We are drawn to fire, we are mesmerised by its beauty yet destructive power. It creates, yet it destroys. To me it is a symbol of pain and also creativity that brings healing.
The fire burned down to just a pile of deep red charcoal and I was half tempted to sleep out beside it, but I was rather in need of a good night's sleep as the next day I would be out on the bike all day and I didn't want to get too tired. The fire and the drum were my friends this evening and we shared a wonderful time together.