Tending the Fire


My boys A, B, and C were playing outside in the fall leaves and building homemade carts out of spare building materials behind the studio at River Bank Productions while recording was in session with Dee Lee Ann, the phenomenal internationally known singer. They didn’t know what was happening, they didn’t know of Dee or of her powerhouse singing ability. To them, all they knew was that if Dee was singing, they were supposed to be quiet.

So, looking out at the lake and feeling the breeze starting to get colder, we gathered fallen tree branches from the yard, some logs left over from last year, and stacked them on the fire pit. I lit the papers and the fire immediately blazed up, crackling in the pit.

There I was, sitting around a camp fire, with my boys and the discussion led to the importance of tending a fire so that it won’t get out of control. My Cherokee name is Fire Keeper after all.

“The fire is a living thing.” I told them as I poked at the flames with a fallen branch. “It eats, it grows, it multiplies, it gives off waste… it breathes. When you stop feeding it, or it stops breathing, the fire dies.”

The fire dies a death like any living thing. The spirit goes out of it, and the ashes left are the body of evidence that it once was alive.

We discussed how the logs and sticks were like the food that we eat, and how the fire needs oxygen like you and me. It was altogether magical. I mean, did we just prove something that had never been proven before?

Coming to you from the mountains of Alabama.

The Fire is A Living Thing.

Jamie Godwin, FireKeeper

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