Who hath smelt wood smoke at twilight?
Who hath heard the birch log burning?
Who is quick to read the noises of the night?
Let him follow with the others
For the young men's feet are turning
To the camps of proved desire and known delight.
~ Rudyard Kipling
How many of you have had the wonderful experience as a child of running around with friends until the skies turn black and darkness falls? Of listening to the distant chatter of parents over by a cracking bonfire while you escape into the recesses of the night. Twilight comes on grey and flat, and then the evening. By starlight and moonlight you race around, a gang of kids reporting to no-one but each other, laughing and playing and chasing imaginary dragons.
We had friends over for an impromptu dinner and fire last weekend. Six adults sipping wine by the fire. 10 children out in the wilderness enjoying their freedom. The two youngest came back to the fold early, but the older ones were having way too much fun, and when they finally came in, the embers were low and the cool spring air was chilly. The kids had smoke and leaves and dirt on their faces and clothes, exhaustion written all over them, and big smiles on their faces.
Exactly how it should be.