Smoke and Stars


An amazing day on the River! The rain has finally stopped, but its cold! I have meandered up the river to a spot where some friends of mine and more of their friends have congregated for a camp fire. Beer flows freely, but I’ve had two, my limit, because I need to drive back to where my tent is. Darkness has settled in like a velvet blanket, soft, slow and smooth. The fire is warm and bright, with people all around, talking, laughing. A couple of guitars have materialized and soft music dances with the flickering firelight. I hula-hooped until I got tired and winded, then sat on a log to watch and listen. Orange sparks fly up in a crazy swirling dance when the burning wood shifts in the fire. I follow them up and see them mingle with the clear bright stars that look close enough to touch. Smoke billows upward in its own swirling dance illuminated by the orange and yellow flames. It is rather enchanting, this smoke rolling up into the night sky, as it leaves the orange light of the fire, I can still see from the blue light of the stars. People’s jubilant voices rise with it to mix with crystal star light. The air is cold, but I am warmed by friendship. A kinship of river guides, it’s a way of life here on the River, stories, campfires, smoke and stars. When I get back to my tent, I sleep a sound sleep of contentment.


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