There is nothing quite so comforting and compelling as a bright crackling fire on a cold dark night. Why is its warmth so much more than the paltry heat it actually produces?
Maybe a blazing fire makes us feel so good because on an ancient, archetypal level, we feel reassured that somewhere along the line Homo sapiens did get something right -- we learned how to make fire.
Maybe fires still convince us that their sounds and smells and sights are keeping the wild beasts of the night at bay -- although today our threatening "beasts" are the slowly stalking pressures at work, the kids' mammoth orthodontist bills, the slinking deterioration of our neighborhoods and schools and the like.
Fires have a communal draw. Did you ever notice that whatever room you build a fire in, that is where everyone will gather -- sometimes even forsaking the electronic hearth (TV) for the real one?
If fires still do this for us today, consider how much draw that bright courtyard fire must have had for...
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