I have never really considered myself as a fearful person, as I don’t particularly suffer from any of the usual things people are commonly afraid of, such as heights, the dark, public speaking and even a lot of the time I’m OK with spiders. However, I have realised more and more as the weather has got warmer and people have invited me to bonfires that I am a little bit scared of fire. OK more than a little. I had always thought that it was probably me just being cautious and aware of safety when it comes to naked flames. But as it turns out, that time a boy in my science class leant over a bunsen burner and set fire to his fringe, has left more of a lasting impression on me than I had previously thought.
The thing is, that although you might find something petrifying, another person will of course come along, find you stupid and then ultimately tease you about it. Just like a friend of mine who always finds it funny to set fire to planks of wood and just wave them around really close to me. To which my usual reaction is “Don’t you da.... I swear to Go.... Just stop it!’’. However, a few weeks ago when I went to a party where a girl spent the whole time upstairs because she was scared of balloon's, the first thing I wanted to do was throw hundreds of balloons in the room and shut her in it. Harsh I know.
The actual name for the fear of fire in Arsonphobia (for real, however I doubt Arson is many peoples favourite pastime) and the fear of either death of being hurt by fire is Pyrophobia. For me, I think my main fear about fire is its unpredictability, the fact that in a split second change of wind direction, it can become dangerous. Along with the realisation that after you thought you had successfully put out a fire, that orange glow you think is dying out, almost always lights up again when your’e not looking. Another thing is the embers, the things that a fire spits out at you when it crackles. Little bits that burn wholes in your clothes if you don’t pat them out quick enough, or in some situations can lead to a fire getting out of hand, and quite possibly setting a building on fire.
Wouldn’t you say that that applies to life in general as well? A small spark that appears relatively harmless at first, can ignite a fire, that you weren’t altogether expecting or prepared for. A fire, that before you know it can cause destruction to many different aspects of your life which are then sometimes hard to get under control. What if you aren’t able to extinguish that fire? What happens then?
I suppose in the same way I am afraid of fire, I am sort of scared of falling in Love. For so many times, I have felt like I have had my fire under control, yet by turning my back for just a second, all of a sudden the flames have got taller than I could handle, and in an automatic reaction I have panicked and rushed to get rid of something I am not comfortable or experienced in. There are also those fires that after ignition seem to die down and fizzle out without you being able to save them, leaving you with no idea what happened. Like a candle, that you only realise has come to its end when there is a small trickle of smoke, and that undeniable smell. (Ironically, I quite like that smell)
What about those fires that well and truly get out of hand? Fire’s that a first keep you warm, but then without you being aware, start to spread. Before you know it, it starts to cause destruction, that can be seen from miles away. Billowing black smoke that makes it aware to everyone around you that you have got yourself into difficulty. Despite your best efforts to extinguish the fire, in the end all you can do is retreat to a safe distance and watch as everything burns to the ground until there is nothing left, and nothing more to carry the fire. Only then, once everything has been burnt away can you start again, with no restrictions. It may seem daunting at first, beginning again, but after a while of missing what you had, you start to realise what can be, now that nothing is standing in your way.
Something that I learnt from one of those really terrible educational videos we used to have to watch in Primary School when it was raining at Break times (can anyone else remember that it was called ‘Wet Play’?) was that Farmers often start fires to clear forest floors, which then makes them more fertile. So girls (and boys of course) now you can use that as an excuse to finish that lad you don’t like anymore, that you need to clear the floor, to make way for other fitter lads. The lad would probably think you were going a bit funny in the head, just like when I finished a boy the other day because of our political differences. I’m actually being serious.
I also learnt today that the best protection from fire, surprisingly is sometimes fire. Apparently if there's a forest fire that is out of control, and you burn away a bit of the ground in advance, that piece of ground will be safe to stand on. Even if the fire totally surrounds you, because you've already burnt away the bits the fire can spread to. So fight that out of control fire, with fire, preferably a much much hotter boy... Sorry I mean fire.
‘...But remember Kids, don’t play with fire.’
Live. Laugh. Love