I’ve been thinking a lot about fire these days. Not because I’m a pyro (well maybe a little at heart) but because it seems to me that fire is a source of a lot of metaphors in my life.
A good fire offers a reliable source of heat, a comforting and often nostalgic appeal to our senses given the smells, sights and sounds it produces. I don’t know many who don’t immediately see a smile on their face when they hear the crackling of a dry log burning in a fireplace.
But fires also bring up feelings of connection for me, which is strange because when we have a fire these days, whether it be indoors or out, It’s usually only my family and I. The COVID-19 pandemic has brought many a social gathering to a halt these past eight months.
I also have thought many a time about my hero, Gord Downie and how his internal fire was stamped out way too early in life. Thankfully there is still “new” music being published by his team (check out “Away is Mine,” Gord’s last recording before his passing in 2017, which was released last week) which will keep his memory alive for some time to come. But in some ways it feels like the world has gone to the dogs ever since his passing. I know he’d have some nugget of wisdom to help me overcome the feelings of despair and dread that creep into my mind more often than not. I was always able to escape the world’s faults through Gord’s lyrics, or the Tragically Hip’s powerful rhythms. It’s tough to do knowing he’s gone.
So in preparation for winter, or maybe the impending apocalypse, I chop and stack wood every chance I get. My back is a little worse because of it, but my mind is eased knowing fire will keep me warm, and safe, and get me through until another sunrise.