Nightfall is approaching and the birds are chirping as if it's dawn. I hear a frog nearby too, somewhere along the tiny Wood River, and the occasional cow's moo calling out for something in the distance. The water's flow is relaxed, sending out shimmering ripples in it's movement around the bend. I sit here, under the warmth of a freshly kindled fire, drinking in the sweetness of the scene. This is my first campfire alone. No friends to share jokes with or dive into the meaning of life as we know it. Only myself, my thoughts, and the native creatures of this land. Their music is comforting. I feel welcome in their home.
Meanwhile, the first couple stars are beginning to poke their holes in the sky. I've always thought of stars as the ultimate seeds of wonder. Forever mysterious. Forever enchanting. They always seem to remind me of the finite nature of life and the magic of what it means to be human. To be conscious. And made of stardust ourselves. Here I am, gazing up with wonder at something that is merely a reflection of myself, feeling the warmth of a fire I built harnessing those stars' very energy. I wonder if the stars are conscious too. Dreaming their own dreams of unknown worlds only to realize that we're all the same anyway. The wilderness inspires this feeling poetically.
. . .
My shadows have become fully engulfed by the night only to be brought to life again by the flickering campfire. I'm thankful for the warmth that this fire is bringing my mind, body, and soul. It serves as a solid anchor when I begin to wander astray into the dark -- reminding me to stay close, yet remain curious. The birds have all gone to sleep now. The dawn of the night has ended. I'm going to turn from this page and meditate my thoughts into this fire for a while, hopefully sharing a dream with one of the stars in this clear Oregon sky.