Fire – the life of the party.
Have you ever looked into embers glowing, ebbing, flickering, and downright communicating with you in an outdoor fire pit? Consuming, breathing, moving, everything but ‘self-aware’, the extraordinary chemical reaction between oxygen and fuel that happens here could very well define my own presence on this planet in the most base form.
The heat was overwhelming and so we moved back from the flames and the heat cast by the metal fire-ring, hunkering down respectfully some feet away. It flickered and glowed and murmured to us; Mesmerizing, tantalizing, synchronizing our thoughts together in those moments that stretched between evening-tide and starlight. When had the banter and light laughter stopped? It was so peaceful, so calm. As the darkness deepened, night chill set in, and one by one everyone left for the warmth of indoors and bed.
He doused bucket by bucket of water onto embers that were glowing as if to mirror star clusters in Orion’s nebula. And yet, the embers continued to glow. In fact, as the steam hissed and swirled inside the steel pit, those embers flared even brighter, rebels to the idea of death by dousing. Out comes the garden hose, a fight to the death until with a trailing sigh the glow is extinguished.
Fire: The Magic Dragon
But it was not over. For days, Fire hid within the coals and embers deep beneath the soaked ashes. Like a magic dragon, it puffed and wafted, hissing vengeance softly under it’s smoky breath, safely contained within the confines of it’s metal fire-ring.
The magic dragon is not always safely contained. It waits to be rekindled, to rage and burn and evade the watchful eyes of people. Wildfires are dragons that continue to smoulder underground long after they have been extinguished; thriving and growing as it consumes roots and organics with its breath rising and falling in the heave of the land. For miles it creeps along, hidden below the earth biding its time to surface once again.
Have you noticed how Fear seems to mimic Fire? It simmers softly under the coals of doused emotions. Repressed feelings arising from unresolved conflict ignite it. Fear murmurs and hisses at change, reacting to others’ emotions and feeding the fire of discontent until it blazes with an unbecoming fury.
Our world is burning with disorder now as pandemic protocols overwhelm our economy. Humans are disoriented by distancing and hidden identities and the stress of politesse drenched in distrust and distaste. People murmur and world leaders placate and palavers propagate. Yet, there is beauty that is born in the ashes of dread. People reaching out to help others in distress; offering food, financial deferment and encouragement, and reconnecting with neighbours and family. And a new fashion has risen to the forefront; a mascot to the madness that affects every country, color, creed and culture during this time of world pandemic.
Face masks have become the new norm. Made by privateers, this aspect of capitalism is thriving in remarkably creative ways! So, here is a cheer to the human nature that pulls the magic dragon from its lair and digs deep to douse the fire. And cheers to those to wear the mask to save the dignity of their neighbour and placate their fear, and cheers to those who feel muzzled, muted or stifled and call it out. Embrace the change, for we are united and we are equal and we are strong.
But, at the end of the day, may we say that we are simply humankind. “Country, color, creed and culture, we are made to love each other”.
We have proven it over centuries of survival: love lasts.