The Awe Inspiring Beauty of Fire

I was warned to steer clear of the products of matches and cigarette lighters. The flame that they produced was dangerous; giving off destructive heat that combusts and aftereffects that displaced oxygen. The most common ways to light candles were kept out of reach.

I had watched the weird colors produced by a charcoal grill. It being lit with these odd blue tipped matches. The responsible party being my jovial father. He guarded those matches from the adventurous children.

In this same endless time frame of adolescence, I had seen an adventurous older kid bound to the altar and blow out the ceremonial candles in church. These candles being decorated with the appropriate emblems for the church calendar’s events. It was not the usurpers job but the assigned acolyte’s job. Few were shocked, but years later I did not blame the unnamed offender. Moths are often drawn to flame.

After my own run ins with the inappropriate use of fire, I was sworn off of using it. The real crime was that I wasn’t taught of its utility and a level of respect for it. I left it well enough alone.

Years later, I would see a family member join the municipal fire department as a student firefighter. It was neat to see their “test” fire consist of a derelict farmhouse that we drove by for years. The students, which my family member was included, took an ironic picture in front of it. The beautiful flames were the ultimate “photo bomb”.

(This same family member would later attest that a local firebug’s attacks on dumpsters gave hours of practice for firefighters. The beauty of their flames did not sustain the firebug’s passions, but the involved party later told me that it was worth a laugh after we all grew out of childish notions).

I had thought nothing of what I saw, considering my nerves had “grown on” to other things. I acknowledged that others saw a strange beauty in a fire’s flames, but I saw no thrill. This would carry on with me as I saw my times on a ship.

Fire is a immense danger on a ship, no matter that water surrounds it. Fire consumed oxygen and oil alike. Oxygen is required to breathe, no matter what a moron speaks. Fire is best put out quickly before it grows into an insatiable dragon. The fires of hell, which were a strange type of breath taking, had been seen on the Bonhomme Richard. I did not want to visit anything of the sort.

A few years ago, when my attitudes on fire had matured into respect, (instead of clueless entertainment), had found me as a fire fighting student. I was anxious, not knowing what the school would teach me. We had found ourselves among props that looked like a third rate refinery. It was interesting using hoses and equipment to put out various fires. I felt that it was easier to do so in the open air than in a building.

But I did find myself in a building, fighting a fire with a somewhat dubious source. We were largely successful attacking the fire. I was on a hose team, but I had to peel off to start another approach. I made the mistake of mishandling the hose, causing the nozzle to wander off of the target. The fire was invigorated, finding a feast where it could grow. I looked over the short hose team member’s head and saw one of the most awe inspiring sights; the breath of a dragon. We then put it out and had our review, I also was instructed on my error.

In spite of the dirty and filthy surroundings, I was reminded of a fire’s “beauty”. I was dumb struck by its colors and capabilities. I learned to understand what it does. It no longer fascinates me but it instructed me in my previous folly as a child. I never adopted the thrills of the arsonist and I cry for those cursed with its appeal, for they do not understand it.


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3 Responses to The Awe Inspiring Beauty of Fire

  1. Pingback: The Awe Inspiring Beauty of Fire — Mogadishu Matt | Vermont Folk Troth

  2. Pingback: FreeMatt in Review: 1-24 to 1-28 (2022) | Mogadishu Matt

  3. Roman says:

    I hear you.

    I have a respect for fire. Maybe too much. I’d rather see it from a distance and you couldn’t pay me enough money to be a firefighter (with all due respect of course – they’re one of my favorite professions).


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