Stoke!

ac6d837fb69e91869e6c87aac10bacd8The word stoke has a surf connotation.

However, my first recollection of its use was to fuel a fire; whether to give the burning wood air, to keep the flame ablaze, or throwing on another log. Stoke meant expending energy to keep things going. In this case, fire.

Pre-Columbia, our island’s first known inhabitants were the Timicuan Indians. In the above picture, you see the fire tenders, in the center of the compound. Their job was imperative, as the fire was necessary for their survival.

In the forefront, a dugout canoe is being hand crafted. Being on the water, was another essential part of life.

On Amelia, many years have passed, since the Indians walked their paths, to the sea.

But the trail has not been left cold.

stoke |stōk|

verb [ with obj. ]add coal or other solid fuel to (a fire, furnace, or boiler).• encourage or incite (a strong emotion or tendency): his composure had the effect of stoking her anger.• (often as adj. stokedinformal excite or thrill: when they told me I was on the team, I was stoked.• no obj. ] informal consume a large quantity of food or drink to give one energy:Carol was at the coffee machine, stoking up for the day.ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: back-formation from stoker.

This island has been home, to many different cultures. The pirates were here. The St. Mary’s River, our northern boundary, was a getaway from the authorities and a haven from hurricanes. Pot smugglers, in the 70’s, favored the area for the same reasons. Lazily, compressed between those two colorful groups, were the Spaniards, the Confederates and the Yankees, railroad tycoons and carpetbaggers. Due to Greek immigrants, this is the home of the shrimping industry, in the United States. People have drifted in and out, like the tides. Each stoking the fire, as time ebbed and flowed, forging today’s modern culture.

stoker |ˈstōkər|

nouna person who tends the furnace on a steamship or steam locomotive.• a mechanical device for supplying fuel to a firebox or furnace, esp. on a steam locomotive.ORIGIN mid 17th cent.: from Dutch, from stoken stoke (a furnace), from Middle Dutch stoken push, poke; related to stick1.

It’s no coincidence that a surfboard is referred to as a STICK.

Or that a person who loves to surf  with a burning passion, is said to have STOKE.

In years and lifestyle, one could say that we are distant from our predecessors. But like them, fire and water are key in our lives.

Surfers are out in the ocean, feeling the spark of life that is inherent in navigating waves.

We keep it going.OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

If you’re not ~ on a wave, you’re dreaming of ~ the next wave.

It’s a matter of survival.

That’s stoke!

*this post was written as a word challenge-presented to me by Jarrod Kaylor

3 thoughts on “Stoke!”

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