That Soothing Campfire Feeling

February 16, 2013

With the bad health I have experienced now for more then 6 months, and the mostly confinement to the house for recoup time, I have had the opportunity to examine many things. First of all, the natural things I have looked at was what I have missed the most in not being outdoors on a daily basis, as was my normal routine.

I miss the interaction with all you fellow outdoors people. The experienced Birder who knows even the calls of many of the Birds we would encounter on the Trails. The Plant Nut, who just knew almost every plant and tree we would see on the Trail, could name them and even knew if we could eat them. And anyone that knows me, knows I stick everything directly into my mouth, including my own feet. 🙂

I miss most of all, the completely inexperienced outdoors man, who knows just about nothing about anything we might encounter out on the Trails, BUT…..has the enthusiasm and spiritual delights of just being there in the Forests of Michigan and experiencing EVERYTHING NATURE. Those people are some of the most exciting people to be with while Hiking, Canoeing or simply anything in the out of doors.


But while I have had so much time to examine things, research various subjects, and get a much deeper understanding on many things I have not had the time before, to hardly deal with, there is something that I miss more then almost everything. The CAMPFIRE. I have written about the Campfire many times before. The last Hiking Michigan NewsLetter has a special article on the Campfire, and as a Group, we have had many discussions about the Campfire over these 15 years we have Hiked together.


There is something very special about a Campfire at so many different levels. At the most rudimentary level, it provides warmth and a sense of security at night, that no other condition can duplicate. Is this something back from our own human roots? The Camaraderie, protection and safety we get while together around a Fire? That is certainly part of it.

But there is so much more then just those deep rooted feelings of security and primitive interactions around a Campfire. Something special happens. Something that in many cases is easier to achieve around a Campfire then in any other situation. Understanding. The ability to listen to another human and even if you do not agree with them, there will be a level of listening and understanding of thoughts, that I just do not see in very many other circumstances.


We have even joked together after a Hike around a good Campfire. If only our Legislators could be forced to gather around a Campfire in the Forest to discuss what is good for all the people, there would be much more wisdom and positive results then there is now.There are many ways to listen to another person. But there is only one way to listen, understand and cooperate no matter what the thoughts are from another individual, and that seems to be the norm around a Campfire, rather then the exception.

The mesmerizing effects of a Campfire is in a way, the complete opposite of this listening and Campfireunderstanding I was just speaking about. Many people will just stare at the dancing waves of flame and smell the smoke and hear the crackles and snaps of a Campfire, and go to a place in there minds and spirits that no other means can achieve. A relaxation like no other way. Again…..if we could only harness these effects for those who need this type of very deep relaxation, the benefits would be tremendous. And in actuality…..who doesn’t need this kind of deep spiritual relaxation from time to time.

So…..it has been over 6 months now, since my last Campfire and I am feeling the stress of this almost more then anything else I have not been able to do while I have been recouping mostly at home. A Campfire is on the top of my personal list to do as soon as possible. I am very much hoping that at our next Hike…..the 15 year Birthday/Mapbook HIKE at Stony Creek on March 2nd, that the Nature Center will allow us access to their Campfire Pit behind the Center, so that we can build a lovely and soothing Campfire after our Birthday HIKE. I could not think of a better way to celebrate Hiking Michigan’s 15th Birthday then to tell stories around a Campfire after our Hike together.


So that is the mission when once again we hit the Trails on March 2nd at Stony Creek Metro Park, repeating that very first Hike the group took, some 15 years ago. There would be no, better way to complete our afternoon then with a warming fire together as the special group you all have created here with Hiking Michigan.


One comment

  1. Can’t wait to see you by the campfire! I can always see the calmness in you after you come home. Love, your wife

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