Fire was my only constant companion in years bygone, as it was that of my boyhood heroes, the American Indian and the mountain man. My first fire was intensely spiritual and private, known only to me and to the silent forest. The wisp of fir smoke, the heat, the tiny licking flame, the crackling branches became part of my spirit. And still are.
     Since the days of my youth, fire has warmed me during cold winter nights in interior Alaska and during chilly desert nights in North Africa. Fire has cooked my food in the jungle of northern India and in the Himalayas of Nepal. And it has lifted my spirit on days of seemingly endless rain and shrouding fog in the coastal mountains of western Oregon and Washington.
     Each fire is a reflection of the past, of the dawn of humanity, when the first purposefully made fire united humans and wood in a cultural dance the world over, a dance to remove the darkness and its terror, to heat a protective shelter, to cook food, and to alter the landscape for hunting, gathering, agriculture, and war.

©chris maser 2002. All rights reserved. © chris maser 2004. All rights reserved.

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