Saturday, September 14, 2013

Bonfire Appearances

Shortly after moving to Minnesota, Glenn and I took up camping. Sometimes the children reluctantly came along. :) We started with a tent, so that we could pull our boat and still take one vehicle. Sleeping on mats turned into cots, and after a few years, the tent turned into a popup camper. We went all over Minnesota, and in 2006 we camped all the way through Glacier, up to Jasper, Alberta, and down to Jackson Hole, Wyoming. We were gone for most of the month of July. Wonderful memories.

By the next summer we decided that the only part of camping we would miss was sitting around the fire in the morning and again at night. Our air conditioned home and bed won out, and we started docking the boat on Gull and enjoying it there.

After we bought this house, we tried different methods of recreating our campfires. We had several "portable" models, until Glenn, being Glenn, decided we should build a mammoth bonfire pit in our back yard. If you follow me on FB, you watched the construction and the ensuing decisions of what color to paint the adirondack chairs. We decided to fill it in with soft beach-like sand, so the grandchildren could play there too. We always planned to brick it in someday, but it was so big we probably would have had to win the lottery first.

We loved it and used it frequently. Many world, local and family problems were solved while watching the flames. Last fall and spring Glenn spent  a lot of time cleaning out the woods so we would have plenty to burn.

And now he's gone. I've had 3 fires this year, including one right now. But it's not the same anymore, and  every time I look at it, it reminds me of what I have lost.

So lately I've been contemplating taking it apart, and maybe replacing it with a pool next summer. I love water, and it represents warmth and laughter and happiness. We will see. Last night I was thinking about offering all the bricks and insert to anyone who would come and take them away.

This morning shortly before I awoke, I dreamed that the fire pit was being taken apart, only there were huge holes, such as you would make when excavating for a house. And after all that this guy was refusing to take the bricks.

And then, Glenn was standing there. In the same dark blue, paisley shirt he had on the last time he was in my dreams. He had that shirt about 15 years ago; it puzzles me why it shows up. In fact, he had his old aviator style glasses on too. Doesn't say much about heaven's fashion sense.

He didn't say anything, he just stood there expressionless like the last time,and it was obvious, that although my kids and others were there, that I was the only one who could see him. I think I said something about a pool, and looking forward. I reached out to put my arms around him, and even in my dream I could feel the corse texture of that shirt, and how it felt to lay my head on his chest.

And then I woke up. And I haven't been able to get past that dream.

I came outside a little while ago and lit the bonfire my friends had laid a few weeks ago when it was still too hot to enjoy a fire. And I cried like I haven't cried in weeks. It's all part of this journey.