I love. When I come in shivering from the icy wind, I love the mesmerizing radiance of the wood stove. Such a fire is a wonderful companion. Fire knows how to love fiercely, but also tenderly in the right setting.
There is a ritual satisfaction in birthing a fire. I wipe the soot from the inside of the glass, and polish the cathedral doors of the fire church to perfect clarity so the fire and I can see one another clearly.
Once I have laid up the wood, the sulfury rasp of a wooden match kisses up a cheerful blaze. It unburdens me of old news, old cedar shingles, and bits of house no longer relevant, As it licks up the arms of mulberry and oak, it breathes on its own and begins the shining dance.
Tree light talks, it whistles, pops, and never sings the same tune twice, but one which is precious and rare. It responds to music, to vibration, to the sound of my voice, re-patterning.
The warmth is magnetic to my cat, Serena. Although the first time I lit up the wood stove, she gave me one quisical look, a second terrified look, and then fled the house, now she will not willingly leave the hearth rug or my lap while a fire is going. She, too, can stare into it for hours, purring meditatively.
Each new fire evokes other fires I have known: camp fires, sacred fires, wood stove fires, forest fires, candle flames. The smokey scent adds to the romance of the element, with its promise of comfort and survival. Gazing deeper into its heart I look for fire kachinas dancing, spinning and touching down so lightly. I search for salamanders slithering about unburnt. I remember the Yoruba priestess reading embers to know the future, fortelling that I would have a daughter as well as a son. I was warmed by the promise, though the rest of the prophecy was clouded.
The dancing light and shadow is is soothing. Star light delayed by the leaves, frozen for a lifetime in the trees finally delivers the sun's message. I am synchronizing with pulsations of star love, tree love, air love. I feel it in my heart, absorb it into my soul. They have gifted me with an extension of my little life in the middle of the dark and frozen prairie. I am grateful for the blessings of my little home, and my larger Earth home, tonight.
Photo and video courtesy of www.thelope.com.