To be wild, to hear the heartbeat of nature, to feel the rush of adrenal strength, to drink from the fresh air and howl at the moon – these are things that are embedded into men.
Something else that we’ve lost when our culture became civilized and pushed out the wild men – the fire.
Today, we gather around the television and let people tell us stories, with the imagination already painted for us. Or we pretend to gather in virtual communities – typing with our thumbs and sending each other cat videos and poop emojis.
But in the WILD – men gathered around a fire at the end of the evening. The fire cooked the food from the hunt. It kept the predators away. It kept the tribe warm.
But more importantly than that, it united them. It gave them communion with each other, with the stories of their ancestors.
They laughed, sang, and told stories while the little ones fell asleep in daddy’s lap.
Generations later, we brought the fire from the outside to the inside, in stone hearths. Our tribes were smaller, but the same thing happened. Grandpa played his fiddle, Pa smoked his pipe. Grandma braided hair and they told stories of the good old days.
Today, our heat is made from underground pipes or copper coils. Our songs are auto-tuned, and we all listen to our own with our Beats by Dre or earbuds. Our stories aren’t even our own anymore – as we stopped having real adventures generations ago. OR we’re afraid that Grandpa’s war stories might frighten the children, or trigger the young and traumatized adults. (When Grandpa was their age, he was in ‘Nam dodging bullets.) But now Grandpa lives in Florida, or in a nursing home, rather than to spend his remaining years with his loved ones.
Can we recapture the tribal fire? Can we sit with our band of brothers, their wives, kids, moms, and dads and tell stories again? Can we teach our kids that electronics are nice, but sometimes the untamed and raw beauty of a fire is what our soul really craves?