Day 122: Create a Fire Pit

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On this bright and glorious spring day, I enjoyed spending the afternoon and early evening outside, working diligently in my backyard. The brick seating area was recently completed, thanks to Greg! Today, for my first, I built the fire pit.

As I’ve drawn up plans and sketches of the backyard transformation, this section was designated as the gathering area. I wanted a patio or courtyard big enough so that friends or family could easily sit together to visit or eat. I can also practice tai chi or yoga here or even hold a small class in this spot. I am very grateful to my friend, Kevin, for donating the brick pavers that he salvaged after his business building was destroyed by the 2011 tornado. These pavers have character, and a history, as Kevin bought them years ago after a building in St. Louis, MO was demolished. Greg has spent many hours in the backyard working on the seating area, with some help from a good friend, Tim. As I stand or sit on these sturdy bricks, I love that they have come through a demolition and a powerful storm, intact, and have now been placed into service again, as a gathering place. I love that Greg, Kevin and Tim all played a role in creating something so beautiful and functional.

I had the fun role of building the fire pit. Greg picked up the blocks, but I asked him to let me assembled the ring by myself. He was okay with that! It wasn’t difficult at all, yet I felt a great sense of satisfaction in laying those blocks. A metal fire pit that got banged up during the tornado found new life inside the circle of stone.

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I can sit quietly and stare into flames for hours. The crackle and warmth of the fire, the woodsy scent, the way the flames move and shift and dance, all captivate me. There is an almost hypnotic quality to flame watching as the mind turns inward, in a reflective state. I could hardly wait for dusk. Later, sitting there on those softly hued bricks, watching the flames leap into the air as darkness fell, I felt blissful. This is the beginning of my backyard Rivendell, which will offer peace and joy to all who enter.

I look forward to the weekend and spending more time in the yard. As Greg builds a gate for the back portion of the fence, I will be laying out pathways and starting to plant around the brick patio. The metal buckets, wash tub and containers I picked up a couple of weeks ago, while out junking, will be arranged around the brick seating area, filled with soil, and then planted with greenery and flowers. In the next week or so I’ll add seating and small tables.

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I’ll also begin detailed plans on the next section of the yard that will be developed, the Japanese/meditation garden. While the gathering area is designed for a few or many, the more intimate meditation garden will be for solitary use, intended for reflecting, reading, meditating or sipping tea. I’m excited about the transformation, and while I look forward to spending time in the finished garden, the joy is in the journey and the fun is in the creating.

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