What is it about fire that so fascinates us? Ever since our earliest simian ascestors living in caves built their first fire, this primal element has been synonymous with light, warmth, comfort, and indeed, human culture itself. The ancient Greeks, recognizing how important fire was to the development of their civilization, even had a story to explain its origin: the divine Prometheus stole this boon from Mt.Oympus and presented it as a gift to humanity, so that people would no longer have to live like animals, but rather, like godscreatures not enslaved to the elements, but the master of them.
To this day, with all our modern conveniences and high-tech toys, very few things in this world hold our interest and give so much pleasure as a simple crackling fire in a fireplace, with tongues of flame licking up and bright coals glowing in the dark. It looks good, it sounds good, it smells good, and it feels good. And anyone who has had the experience of sitting in front of a fireplace knows full well how easy it is to stare dreamily into that fire for hours on end, perfectly content.
Since prehistoric times, "the hearth" has been the center point of our domestic lives. And even now most people would agree: nothing brings a family or small intimate social group closer together than sitting around a fireplace and talking the night away.