I had the opportunity yesterday to tend a fire for a couple of friends' sweat lodge last night. It was a well-spent evening. The conversation was lively, the company excellent, and I do love to tend fires and be involved in the sweatlodge.
I had time to sit and stare into a fire, to take care of people and try to be alert to the other side. There is not much more fun than that.
At one point as the sun went down, the heat waves cast a beautiful shadow on the house. As the breeze picked up, the trees swayed and the fire gained momentum, sending sparks high into the air. I watched the sun disappear and the birds pick up their evening pace, picking off insects in the time between twilight and darkness, for some birds, the best time to find a flying insect.
The stars were intense, with the Milky Way as bright as it has been from the valley all winter. Even the Pleiades shone clear, even as they begin their descent toward the horizon until next fall's ascent.
The whole thing lasted about five hours, from lighting the fire to the last door, and a better five hours could not have been spent last night.