You can just about see my friends' kid, Liam's outline as he stares enthralled by the flames, as we all were. In fact we all became kids, singing songs, eating S'mores, layering all our fond memories of campfires past onto the fiery spectacle of this outdoor hearth. We sat in chairs, in an ancient circle around the bonfire watching the sparks levitate into the dark. The fireflies in the trees echoed their response.
It's not difficult to see the primitive logic of smoke and fire as magical and capable of invoking spirits and communicating with gods but who knew in this modern day its immense power in forging community. My vacation was about a reunion with old friends and making new ones as they brought new family members to the circle. This summer bonfire welded our bonds, its shared memory as powerful as it's crackling flames.