Sunday, October 05, 2008

Autumn Campfire

It was the perfect night after a day of yard work and painting. Late in the afternoon Karen and I decided we should have a lovely bonfire to end the work day and invited all the neighbors over. It was an easy thing to do as everyone was out mowing or raking or painting or just sighing over the spectacular Autumn day.

By 7:30 neighbors began arriving with lawn chairs...there were children and dogs and many stories to tell as we gathered around the fire making our circle larger as more folks arrived. My student from Trine Unviversity arrived as well. I am her host family for the year and this was her first outing. Mengting is from Mainland China in a small village where it is always spring. I believe she is in for a big surprise. It was her first experience with a campfire, marshmallows and s'mores.

The children drank hot chocolate while Blue Moon beer was passed out among the grown ups. No one wanted to leave the lovely hot ember coals, but close to 11, everyone was growing sleepy and it was time to say good night. It is lovely to have neighbors visit. Everyone left through the garden gates carrying their chairs and their children. I sat outside for a while watching stars and sparks dance into the ebony night.

As I cleaned up the yard and poked at the coals, I knew it had been a lovely golden night. As Henry Glassie once wrote, "It was enough so that in the morrow we can nod and say it was a good night."

Lou Ann Homan is a storyteller, teacher, writer, and dreamer of dreams. She can be found writing late into the night under the light of her red fringed lamp in Angola, Indiana