Gazing into the Firelight

My heart is quiet as I listen to the dark winds moving in from the west as the sun drops in the crimson purple abyss. There is a soft twilight mixed with the smell of cold juniper frost and the sound of a monster walking in the woods. The branches of the pinions creak as the night envelops the desert hills.

My imagination takes a journey into the past, to the most ancient times, and I can see them flint-knapping and throwing unused chips of augite into the dirt. One old man is building a fire that grows strong and he stokes it with dead sage and broken pinion branches. This ignites in my mind like a dream or a vision. His skin is withered and his hair is silvery gray with snow-white streaks. He sits on the cold rocky ground and huddles near the fire with the reflection of the flames dancing in his eyes. He’s looking into the fire pondering the wind, the land, and the old ways, and the stories. He’s thinking of his family, his parents, and the stories that his grandfather passed onto him before he died several ages before.

This old man, he’s some unnamed Indian man, just a flicker of light in my dream. But the scene replays over and over of the old man thinking and gazing into the fire. He’s thinking of his grand-kids, and the people gathered around and about. Dinner is over, and it’s late at night and other people are huddled around other fires as well. The stars come out, and the wind howls.

And then the memory, like a firefly, comes and goes…

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