You know how this particular trope goes. As the day is ending, a weary band of travellers stop. Too tired to travel any further they pitch camp. Soon a campfire is burning, the flickering flames holding back the darkness. Warm and well fed, the travellers relax. The glow of the fire and their shared repast work to promote a feeling of intimacy and unity amongst those who before had been only acquaintances.
Soon secrets are declared. Tales are told about where they have travelled and the sights they have witnessed. Plans and hopes for the future are shared, vulnerabilities laid bare, precious confidences entrusted to their new friends.
Sometimes there will be music played round the campfire: a banjo, a fiddle. Voices combine in song: songs of adventure; songs of sorrow. The camp falls silent. The travellers sleep. Tomorrow they will journey onwards to their separate destinations.
A campfire is a useful device. It can be inserted into the text as a breather after a particularly fast-paced scene. Conversations around the campfire can show character development and disclosure. It can allow two previously hostile parties to reconcile.
Tonight I sat with friends and family in my niece’s garden, warming ourselves from the flames of a fire bowl. I told them of my journey and they in turn told me of their travels. Tomorrow we go our separate ways.
And as for me, I too shall return home tomorrow. And I shall write.