Fire has long been described as a ‘fearful master and a dangerous servant’, but what is it about fire the attracts us? Why do we love a real fire, either out in the wilderness or in the front room?
As children there is something magical about a candle flame on a birthday cake. Clearly as adults, we dread yet another candle, as our birthday cake looks more like Vesuvius than it does like double chocolate!
However, there’s a primal urge, from eons ago, when fire meant survival (and somewhere in there still does). Fire changed the human existence, how we live, how we eat. As King Louis, in Jungle Book sang, “Now don’t try to kid me, mancub, I’ll make a deal with you. What I desire is man’s red fire, to make my dream come true. Now, give me the secret, mancub, come on, clue me what to do. Give me the power of man’s red flower, so I can be like you”.
Beyond ‘survival’ the fire draws people together. For a brief time we become unified in the warmth and the glow. We might only be unified by sharing the same real space while indulging in multiple virtual spaces on our devices, but it is the fire that has brought us together. There is romance in the hearth. The light flickers as the flames dance right in front of our eyes, a magical display. Words don’t always need to be exchanged, but stories are woven, songs are shared, as the flames cast their hypnotic spell.