It was a bloodthirsty crowd that gathered in Phoenixville, PA, to watch the annual burning of the wooden phoenix. As K and I stood among them on a thankfully warm Saturday night we heard them chant, “Burn the bird! Burn the bird!” If it weren’t for all the smart phones held high to record the event, I might have imagined myself back in medieval times awaiting the burning of a heretic or witch.
A little after 8 PM, they set the bird afire and the flames inched their way upwards. In the background drums pounded and before long the increasing heat from the burning bonfire warmed our upturned faces. I have to admit I felt a bit sad to see something so wonderfully built and majestic be destroyed. Still it was an impressive sight. We stayed until most of the structure was consumed, then went home to Pablo, who wisely chose to keep his distance from trampling crowds. Besides, the only bird he’d want to see roasting would not be made of wood.