As the protagonist of THE TERMINAL LIST, Navy SEAL sniper James Reece, prepares to take out first target, he takes a moment to reflect:
The night before his planned hit, he built a small fire. There was something primal about fires. Since the early Stone Age fires had quite literally sustained human life. They offered warmth and allowed the heat-treating of hard woods and eventually metals, turning them into weapons for hunting and war. They permitted cooking and early pottery, were natural gathering places, could signal, and were almost always part of ceremonial tradition. Fires were sacred, but more than anything else, fires offered hope.
Fire, more specifically controlling fire, allowed us to develop as a species and eventually build the societies of today. Without learning to control fire and thereby use it to evolve, the world as we know it would not exist.