Back in 1998, after a big trip out West, I returned to my parents' house - the one I grew up in - with a bunch of rocks and natural relics I had collected on my travels. Ascending to the highest point on my parents' property line, I dug a deep hole and built a fire pit of local stones, incorporating my sacred rocks and things into the construction of the pit. My little cousin Lesley lent a hand and, as we excavated, we unearthed a perfect, black arrowhead - the only one I have ever found on my parents' land. I examined its broad, flat sides, and admired its sharp point. "Here you go, kiddo," I told Lesley, handing her the treasure, "keep it safe." And that's how the sacred fire pit of Manchester, Georgia was born. I've since built hundreds of fires in it. And if you're reading this, chances are pretty good you've sat with me by this pit and enjoyed some of the ancient Georgia night.
A few nights ago, on Christmas night, we went out to build a fire and this is what we found - waterlogged! So we bailed it out - between thirty and forty gallons - only to watch it fill right back up within a few minutes (heavy rainfalls had saturated the ground). We pulled a few rocks out of the nearby woods and made a quick, provisional fire ring a few paces from the old fire pit. I untarped my firewood cache and within fifteen minutes we had a raging fire there. Somehow, in the midst of tequila and coffee and long-winded stories going nowhere exactly, a skillet materialized, so I heated up Christmas dinner leftovers. It was a cold night, so the communal skillet steamed and hummed as, overhead, I spied a satellite tracking across the sky.