I participated in another art challenge this week and the theme of the challenge was Fire. Since I love campfires I had plenty of photographs to process for the challenge and I did that for two of the three days of the challenge. My image for one of those days was a digital drawing.
However, as I looked through my archives of fire images I saw more than campfire photographs. I saw photographs that I had taken of marsh fires across the Bay from where we had lived as well as large brush fires that we had tended when we burned either Hurricane Katrina downed trees or large branches when we or the neighbors trimmed up trees on our properties.
The images of those brush fires brought back many memories. I could identify the very events that preceded each of those photographs.
One such image is a very large brush fire that we burned on our neighbors property. His property consisted of four city lots. A house had once stood in the middle of those lots and that was his official burn spot. After spending a day or two trimming up the trees on the back line of his property he sat back and watched my husband tend to the big fire.
This burn took place during the first week of January and it was a particularly cold night. That made it an appropriate night for a big, warm burn. When we first started the fire our canine fur baby kept a watch for rodents that may have used the pile for cover the night before and was now fleeing the burning pile.
As the fire burned down my husband raked burning coals and stray branches to the middle of the fire. Our neighbor sat a short distance away enjoying a beer or two and supervising the burn.
I remember that night well. There were actually ten of us altogether. We stayed warm not only with the heat from the fire but also with the joy and laughter of friendships shared.
There were many nights on the Mississippi Gulf Coast that I sat around a fire pit alone, watching flames and soaking up the heat while deep in thought. But those neighborhood burn pile fires, with the comradery of friends, are what I miss the most.