Lighting My Own Fire
I am home… (” to a place I’ve never been before”, John Denver would add). Baker Creek Cabins, Lake Louise, Canadian Rockies. Soaking in the simple. I’m unsure of what my message is in this moment. It has taken me 4 tries to light the wood burning stove and now it is finally crackling. I felt a little conflicted between achieving the satisfaction of doing it myself and the desire to have someone special light the fire for me. Maybe that’s it right there. Do I really need someone to light my fire or can I simply light my own? What wound up happening on this night, is that I did light my own fire. I’ve basked in the warmth of my own spark many times and many times that spark has become a flame. To share that with someone that can understand it and appreciate it on the same frequency, however, has confirmed that the magic of it all can be magnified. If I had never experienced the shared joy of 2 flames, I would not know how intense it could feel. Because I have encountered a state of magnified joy for a time, it sometimes feels as if I have plunged down from my plateau. As it sit here at this secluded feel like home cabin 30 miles outside of Banff I am concerned that my fire is going to go out. I am watching it carefully trying to strike a balance between the investment I make in keeping it going and leaving it be to observe the course it is set on taking.
I leave the hearth, head to dinner and return to find the wood still smoldering. On the way back to my cabin I gathered additional wood and kindling to support what I have started. My family joins me for a short tour of what will be my mountain home for the next 2 days. I drop the supplies inside the door and turn away, involving myself in the mindless task of separating the flat edges of the puzzle I have dumped on the table. As my congregation leaves, I look up to see a blazing fire that they reignited before departing. It is more fierce than the one I have built for myself. I do not feel powerless, after all. Even though I was not the one who ultimately brought it to this intensity, I contributed. I view it as a gift and I am left alone to admire the force it reveals. The activity of the day and the few hours sleep from last night leave me exhausted. I am mesmerized by the blaze and I do not want to abandon it. It swirls, it dances, it changes, it warms. I peel myself away, knowing that sparks can always reignite. Sometimes I can rely on help for it to reach the place I desire it to be. It has the power to roar at times. Sometimes it lays dormant as it waits for new kindling and sometimes it requires a little support to get it started again.