Some of us go through our lives stumbling across campfires in the woods or on empty beaches and each time we do are attracted to the light. It’s where people meet, bring out guitars and sing, fall in love and form bonds that can never be broken.
I see them as I drive down country lanes, hearing the laughter as I pass swiftly on pretending that I’m not a moth and that it’s not for me. I guess you might say I’m a party pooper.
I’ve never really felt comfortable sitting around the campfire. There’s something about the light and warmth, the singing and general good humour that doesn’t suit me. I’m the one on the edges, flickering in the shadows. You might know that I’m there but you probably wouldn’t miss me if I wasn’t. It’s not that I don’t want the warmth or to get lost in the brilliant flames; it’s just that I’ve never felt that it was really my place.
On the few occasions I have ventured up to the glowing embers I have found that they soon lose their heat and on those few occasions, getting far too close, I’ve been burnt. Sometimes badly, and getting your fingers burnt is a hard lesson that’s even harder to forget.
I did have a time in my life where my moth almost became a butterfly and the campfire really did seem like ‘the’ place to be. I couldn’t handle it though; so much wood to collect, all those flames to fan, too many people with buckets of water wanting to douse my flames. Better to stand in the shadows and watch. It’s lonely in the shadows though.