Campfire

         It was silent that cold, winter morning.  No sound from the trees, no sound from the forest animals, just complete silence.  It was comforting.

         Jake sat cross-legged in the snow, a small trace of smoke still smoldering from the campfire from the night before.  He fell into the silence as he hypnotically watched the smoke rising.  He took notice of the fluidity of the smoke rolling around the kettle hanging above the burned-out fire, never breaking, just harmoniously finding its way around its obstacle and up into the air.

         The silence was eventually broken as snow began to fall gently to the ground.  Jake could hear the snow land on the tree branches and ground all around him.  He had never paid attention to the sound of snow falling before.  It was peaceful.  This is exactly what he needed.

         Jake had been lost in his head for some time now.  He couldn’t remember the last time he had felt at ease.  He was constantly thinking about the future, allowing his anxiety to highjack all his thoughts and emotions.  He felt so different now.  There wasn’t any anxiety, no fear, no worry, just the soft sound of snowflakes landing all around him.  He just let go and allowed his mind to flow like the smoke from the campfire.  It felt wonderful.

         He sat there, embracing the Now, allowing himself to feel the beauty of his life.  The beauty of this world, this moment.  How long had it been? 

         A sudden bolt of unimaginable energy flowed through his body, sending tingling sensations from his head to his toes.  He was overcome with inspiration.  He felt like a cripple being granted the gift of his legs again.  From this day forward, he wasn’t going to take anything for granted, he wasn’t going to be held a prisoner of his own mind.  He was finally free.

         Jake threw some twigs onto the campfire and waited patiently as they finally took flame.  He added some small logs to the fire, watching it grow, listening to the logs crackle from the intense heat of the flame.  He grabbed the kettle and added some water to it, placing it back over the fire.  He could already taste the warmth and boldness of the coffee as he sat in anticipation.

         “It feels good, doesn’t it?”

         Jake looked up from the ground, startled by an old man sitting on the other side of the campfire.  What the fuck?

         “The fire, it feels good,” said the old man again. 

         “Do you mind if I sit with you for a bit?  My old bones could use the warmth of your fire,” the old man said with a grin.  There was something very unusual about him, something Jake couldn’t quite put his finger on.

         “Uh, sure,” Jake responded, eyeing the old man closely.

         “Would you like some coffee?” Jake asked.  “It’s just about ready.”

         “Oh, that would be lovely,” the old man replied.

         Jake took the kettle from the fire, poured them both a cup and handed one of them to the old man.

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