Friday, June 03, 2005

Reclaiming Fire

Fire Burning Bright
Warm safe coursing creative blood
Protected within
It was hot in my mother's trailer that afternoon far out in the scrub pine of rural southern Florida. We were sitting in her living room, me with my year old daughter in my lap and her anxiously looking out the large window at the distant grass fires creeping closer to the her pond.
As far back as I can remember my mother has joked away her fear of fire saying that she must have been burned as a witch in a previous life. There was no joking in her eyes when she looked at me that day nor was there panic. She was wordlessly acknowledging the family legacy of fear passed to me from her mother and their mothers. She was also offering me the opportunity to say no and heal part of my maternal line.
Together we did say no, we stayed in the trailer playing cards secure in the knowledge that our love is stronger than our fear. We also trusted the Indian River County Fire Department to contain the fire.
One act of saying no to fear does not entirely heal but it starts building the foundation for healing. I have had many opportunities in the intervening 25 years to explore my fears. Now it is becoming more important to not just let go of fear but actually reclaim fire. Denying fire is denying life. No more will I joke when lighting a candle that, "fire is not my element". I am now ready to respectfully dance with fire.