Last Sunday I lit the fire pit on my deck and sat there waiting for peace. I shut down the Wi-Fi and instead turned on my Wi-Fire trying to connect to a more primitive state of being. But peace did not come.
There were leaf-blowers, kids needing rides and wives wanting things planted here and there. As soon as I stopped to worship the fire, I realized that the rest of my world was buzzing with endless activity. It made me acutely aware that I can’t stop the world, but I can become the change I want to see. And that change might just happen around the fire pit.
What if lighting the fire pit becomes a regular practice for creating space for rest and contemplation? If I light it will you come?
Here is the concept in a nutshell:
- Flash Fire: A spontaneous gathering with little structure or planning. When the time is right, I simply send out a group text to the Wi-Fire group announcing that the fire is crackling and the cushions are spread out on the deck. No RSVP – show up if you can.
- Fireside chat: Bring your ideas, music and jokes and let’s just share in the company of friends. Story-telling is almost extinct. In fact, my kids think that the oral tradition is something you experiment with at college, and sooner if you get lucky.
- Elements: Deck, wind and fire. We need to be in touch with the basic elements. Most of us have NDD – nature deficit disorder. When was the last time we traced Orion’s arrow in the night sky without the help of an iPad, or went to sleep smelling of smoke?
- Digital cave: From the Wi-Fi and into the Wi-Fire. In our house the time spent sharing the same space can be measured in nanoseconds. We each migrate into our digital cave as soon as the dishwasher goes on. We share far more with those far away than with those who are close to us. It may be time to share a primal space that’s been lost to the screen.
- Do nothing: Harder than it sounds. This is about creating space just to hang, listen and to toss the to-do list into the fire. Don’t forget to leave the iPhone in the basket by the front door. What happens by the pit stays by the pit.
I’m not sure why I latched on to this fire thing. Maybe like a candle flame or a mantra, the heat and smoke remind me that we are part of a natural world and that we periodically need to slow down, sit, observe, gather and share in person.
So when you get the Wi-Fire alert, you’ll know that twilight is approaching, sparks are popping into the evening sky and time has slowed down. On my deck there is a cup of strong, sweet tea and a cushion waiting for you. Just come.