Last night we started a fire in our backyard (on purpose) and toasted up some marshmallows. Getting a marshmallow just right for a S’more is just as much art as it is science. Anybody can turn a marshmallow into a torch, like the kind they’d match with their pitchforks and shouting as they go after Frankenstein. But toasting — browning, not burning — is no easy task. Three reasons persist:
- Marshmallows are cylinders of sugar and processed byproduct, just ripe for the torching. By the way, if your marshmallows are indeed “ripe”, you should check with a physician.
- Fires are inconsistent. The only consistency of a fire is “hot.” Fire likes to spread, especially to marshmallows.
- We are inconsistent. We get impatient. We want so badly to build a S’more NOW but know we need to get the exterior bruleeing spot on. So we lean the stick in, lean too far, it catches fire, we express our frustration, and start over.
I think that’s the problem, really, at least for me. I am inconsistent. Self control, perseverance, patience, awareness, flexibility — all of these are marks of maturity that are truly put to the test around a campfire. Over time, we learn. We grow. We shake our heads at our children who torch their marshmallows, not in judgement but in the shared journey of getting better at something simple yet nuanced. But don’t think too highly of yourself (Adam) because when we finally reach this maturity, we celebrate by jamming a marshmallow/chocolate/graham cracker sammich into our mouths.
Just as we should.