To say it is fascinating to watch fire would probably invoke insinuations of being primitive. Of course, I have been accused of being either American or rustic primitive before. I'm not sure if such attempts at labels were meant as insults. In any event, I tend to let it slide, labels being oh so limiting.
Watching the flames as they tickle its fuel is something primal. There are thousands of stories, which supposedly answer how, when, and why hominids got fire. Some of these tales are quite entertaining. Despite superstition, apocrypha, and other forms of mythology, I tend to think of the lone, or pack of hominids, finding a literal burning bush; set alight by lightening or perhaps a volcanic eruption somewhere in the Rift Valley of eastern Africa.
Light. Heat. Protection. It gave an interesting taste to the food held over it. Predators would not come near, for fear of the flames. Those primates had come across one of the oldest magics.
Fire, and the manipulation of it, is what sets the hominid genus apart from other species on this planet. The civilization and technology has been built upon this knowledge. A 'puter and the ability to finally step off-world, to touch the very stars themselves, comes from that time in Africa, gathered around a literal burning bush.
When stoking a fire, I sit for several moments, captivated by the flames consuming the fresh wood. I feel like I'm in Africa, millions of years before the first kingdoms of Man.
It's hard to believe fire is not alive, but I have read that scientist say since fire does not evolve, it is not alive. I have encountered people who do not evolve. Interesting.
For not being alive, fire is the womb. Destruction and creation. Equal sides of the cosmic coin. Flames of wild fires have laid waste to entire continents. Yet, on the other side of that cosmic coin, were it not for that moment in Africa, around the literal burning bush, none of what has been accomplished, good or ill, would have ever come to pass. Those flames are one of the oldest magics.