Transformation in the rain

And ah my friends, while the rain teems down,
let us stop here in the woods by the river
and build a fire to sit around.
Let us drop our bags, and scatter to find fuel:
dead branches and twigs still on the trees.
Let us break them off and bring them in, still dripping a little.
And let Simon, with the energy that burns within him,
attend to the lighting of the flame:
apply the spark, catch the tinder, blow the twigs alight.
And while the smoke begins to curl up through the rain,
let some of us assist in building the fire,
and some of us interfere, and we will not know the difference.
Let us drag up a large branch or two, to sit upon,
from where we can comment, and grumble, and joke,
building our damp community in the woods.
And when the flames are warming our thoughts
and turning raindrops into hisses, let Malcolm, oh excellent man,
produce, from his bag, strips of salmon and raw meat.
Let us impale the strips on forked twigs and set them toasting,
some held to the flames, some propped against stones,
and let us watch, through the rain, the transformation occur.
After a period of salivation, let us share out the food we have cooked:
scorched, blackened, occasionally dipped in ash;
and ah my friends, memorably satisfying.
And when the time has come to resume our journey
let us shoulder our bags and move off in good humour.
May that with which we have been blessed be shared abroad.

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