Showing posts from September, 2012

Hearth Fires

In ages past, primitive man huddled by a fire at night.  He did it to keep away the cold, to have protection from some wild animals and a place to cook others, and because it was a source of light in the darkness.  The fire was a reminder and reassurance of the future day, something to carry him forward with courage.  When work or travel must pause until daybreak, the fire was also entertainment and relaxation.  Staring into the flames gave him time and focus to reflect or imagine.

     Naturally, he would gather his family there, and that would expand the activity to a community.  The very earliest communities were families.  Like a wolf pack, a tribe would be composed of siblings and their children, branching out into an extended family.  Generations and occasional additions from other tribes might increase the genetic distance between members, but a tribe is a family nonetheless.  And gathering the family around the fire was a major part of early man's social life.  For a …