Keepers of the Flame

Thu October 31, 2019

I've heard the argument that hunting is a "thing of the past" or "from a different area," and thus not relevant today. To those people, I say, hunting is a part of the human soul, to deny it denies our essence.  We do not need to light the fireplace in our homes for warmth or as we dim the electric lights to enjoy the flicker of a candle.  Yes, it is an undeniable part of our ancient past – but our souls know it, even in the modern noise of non-necessity. 

            We have depended on fire to extend the day, provide heat, ward off predators and insects, illuminated dark places, and facilitated cooking for millennia. Still, also the relaxation is a response to fire is an evolutionary adaptation.  In modern western homes, our lives do not depend on a fire, so why do we have fireplaces in our homes?  Décor? Ambiance? No, it is something more profound than that; it is primal.  The U.S. retail sales of candle products are approximately $3.14 billion annually (Source: Mintel, 2013).  A scented wax candle, hand-poured into a glass jar.  A necessity? A cover scent?  No, it's a portable fire to push away the darkness.  The warmth and the flickering light is relaxing and comforting, which may be caused by the heat that it emits, or even the trance of watching the flames.  Whatever it is, we know it, seek it out, and value it in our lives.

            There are plenty of elements and conveniences we enjoy that are remnants of who we are.  What our ancestors dreamt of, we live, and what they lived, we dream of today.  These past generations lived on the open plains and pristine mountainsides, yet had civilization within them.  Similarly, within the villages turned cities they created, our wildness still lingers.  Our past is not gone, but still very much pulsing within us.  We are all keepers of the flame.