He is really good at this now of course, over the last 2 years we have lived in homes with fire pits so he has became excellent in his ability to get the fire started!
Several years ago we were staying in the Ocean Lodge over our anniversary, the wind on the sand made getting the flames going almost impossible until an older couple came to our rescue in forming a wall to allow the fire to get established. The rest of the night was passing around champagne with these peoples and looking up into the stars.
"Isn't this such a clear day!" my hubby Tony said as I nodded following him down the sidewalk of town. Cannon Beach was his childhood resort, a place every year his parents brought him. In the first few years we were married we came here for fun and he had many stories, many memories that normally he wouldn't remember back home.
On this warm but not really hot July day here in Cannon beach Oregon, Tony bought some bundles of wood. I bought some special cheese and lunch meats then happily trucked up the hillside from our rental cottage by Ecola State Park. I set up the lawn chairs, brought out the picnic bag and got my dogs as Tony built the fire up.
Then he took his walking stick all the way out into the ocean's waves and I kept the warm by the fire. At the Oregon Coast even in the first part of July it's rather chilly in the evenings and night.
I loved that moment watching the silhouettes of my husband and dogs running along side the water in the orange glow of the sun light.
Later on over the amazing fire pit, with our dogs napping and worn out beside us...Tony and I talk about our friend Benny, how he would miss her support when they both would watch me go off on my soap box or when I shared the magical ideas I carry within me. They always gave each other THAT look like "We know how it REALLY is out there in the world...."
I never felt like they judged me instead they found my ideas and dreams to be adorable if not based in any sort of reality as they knew it. Tony and Benny had the kind of friendship that would tease each other over who got my attention first, sitting around the fire pit on the sandy beach made life look romantic and feel healing for the soul....I LOVE the smell of smoke and wish my clothes could carry that aroma always!
My husband and I travel easily together, we want to stop at the same time always, get coffee drinks refills and enjoy long discussions or ideas while driving down the highways.
Once we arrive to our detestation we stay there the first night unpacking and settling into for a good night's rest before taking on the new place in the renewed morning's strength.
These 2 weeks here on the coast have been WONDERFUL, I have cried, I have slept deeply, I have daydreamed, I have walked for miles and miles missing my best friend Benny, I have came back to our cabin grateful for my dogs and the joy we all have together, relaxed in the comfort of conversations with my Tony. He and I both knew as we sat over the fire pit that another time will come like this when death takes away another soul of whom we loved, it is a part of growing old together, it will happen again this kind of sadness....and honestly there is no way to prepare for it. There is no avoiding it either, we can choose to see what is important to us and live steadily through as comfortable as possible and as grateful as possible for a life well balanced and well loved. We may write away our minds, learn every bit about our reactions and emotions but we can not control the end....for anything!
"It's always more shocking when a young person dies, Benny was younger then both of us.....always around and now....she isn't." Tony said in such a bewildering voice, he looked out in front of us for a moment for we were surrounded by the ocean in a pink sunset as the wood burned and popped. He continued "Makes me realize how in the end it's not your job or your money that will matter, it is your choices to be with those you love and those memories they have of you when you are gone....that is simply all that will live on our memories." I nodded listening and thinking over when did I first feel how unimportant we are as humans? I began to explain back at Tony "I realized that very same thing when I was 15 years old for my great uncle had died all alone, all locked up in his one bedroom home across the yard from my own home and never knew him....I don't know if he was afraid of everyone else or they were so ashamed of him. Of course he was mentally challenged but still, he didn't have many stories to the rest of the family.....it hit me to the core of my soul on that day at his graveside during the ceremony I realized I wouldn't let fear or shame keep me from going out of my way to really live! to be happy, to give what I can when it is asked......Life holds nothing but time, memories are the only thing we know for sure can stay behind when we die. Even then nothing not even our name can be remembered forever."
The fire burned into the darkness and the coast line grew very very cold, my 2 sweaters were not keeping me warm enough anymore yet it had been a comfortable fire pit, a good time to talk and think and reflect......The white noise of the ocean waves, the glow of the fire and the soft smooth sand was what I saw as a living being. My heart was grateful, my mind was relaxed and my spirit hummed the tunes to the song "Be still and know that I'm with you."
Where ever my best friend's spirit is, where ever I go from here.....it is my memories I cherish, it is my stories I can still share!
Tony said looking all around while drinking his chilled wine, "I could die right now and would be completely happy! This is the comfortable peaceful way to live!"