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Embers From the Fire

September 11, 2020

Embers from the Fire
A weekly blog by Deacon Dan Wagnitz for the Quad Parish Community

Embers from the Fire – 9/11/2020

Some good friends bought a nice cozy cottage up in Vilas County and they invited Michelle and I for a long weekend. There is a requirement when you are “up north” in Wisconsin that you have a campfire in the evening. It is best if the fire is lit at dusk so that it is burning well as darkness creeps in. Our friends debated each evening which was the better part of the fire – the flames, or the embers. He preferred the flames; she preferred the embers.

The flames dance and alternate between yellow and blue, red and orange. Flames make the wood crackle and pop. They catch the eye. They usually ignite the marshmallows of the impatient toasters who insist that they enjoy the charred outside and still cold and stiff inside. Flames are for lively talk and funny stories. It is easy to laugh along with the flames. Embers are different. They glow hot red and shimmering black. Embers are magnetic to the soul. Embers are best for cooking and marshmallow toasting, if you like them golden brown and gooey all the way through like I do. Embers are for deep thoughts and long pauses. The only really serious talks I had with my father were late at night while camping after the fire died down to embers.

We got together just a week ago with two other couples. Our hosts had one of those fire tables in the backyard. It was nice but there was no debate about flames or embers because there were no embers. There was no smoke in the eyes, and no cleanup. When it was time to call it a night, he just shut the valve to the propane tank and it was instant blackness.  I have a strong preference for wood campfires that crackle and pop. I’m fine with moving my position if the breeze blows smoke my way. I am comfortable with the deep thoughts and long pauses, especially with good friends.

The following poem was written decades ago. It’s not seasoned poetry but I thought I would share it as honest as it came off the Royal portable typewriter of an aspiring poet. This is why this blog is called Embers From the Fire:

The subconscious burns in glowing embers
Subtle fire, kindled by the One Mind
Smolders deep by the bellows of the Human Kind.
Cold steel thoughts are cast in the furnace
To be forged more true than conscious effort can
And plucked out with tongs of dreams.
Sleep ends with creation hissing in the cooling bucket.
Embers from the Fire.

His Peace,
Deacon Dan

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