Fire is such a goto for me. Always has been. Most often, it’s this backyard chiminea for me. All seasons. The photo above is from a cold Utah night last week.

I bring things to the fire. And it brings things to me. Sometimes it is rituals — release, courage, clarity. Sometimes it is requests — with a few ancestors that I try to listen with. Sometimes it is feeling — I wish to be and feel a bit more elemental.

One of my favorite poems of all time, that I have used many times in working with groups is Judy Sorum Brown’s, Fire. A friend reminded me of it recently.

Judy Sorum Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of the fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need to lay a log
lightly from time to time.

A fire
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

Here’s to the invitations we create and the invitations we receive, to be with fire, to be with what is elemental.

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