Bridging Fire

As the morning light comes on before 6am these days, I’m finding myself scrambling to keep up with time.  Yesterday I may have walked leisurely on a plush red carpet, but that was Sunday.

Monday morning I’m back on the highway, my day scheduled until nightfall.

Still I remind myself to breathe.  Come here as a gesture, if nothing else.  That this life is still mine.  This half an hour before breakfast can be my place for words, thoughts and feelings.

I can quickly type out a moment from last night’s Beltane fire.  No amorous running through the woods or sightings of the May Queen (unless she was peeking from the nearby garden).  Just time with friends around a back yard fire, built by Jeb with our neighbor.  We each fanned the flames in our own style.  Added twigs under the stars.

I calmed my nerves to open and let Jeb jump across the blaze, not once but probably at least ten times.  His belly full of post-Easter jelly beans, he was wild with the passion.  Excited but intent, leaping with plenty of clearance.

After a series of jumps he came to me to whisper all of his wishes.  His warm, moist words heaving dreams inside my ear, coating my cheek with sugar-sweet, seven-year old desires.

They fell from his mouth in delighted sighs:  “I wish that I could be a ninja…that the world was made of candy…that I could speak Japanese…I wish that the sky would rain hot dogs…and I wish that you would live forever and never die.”

As the evening came to an end, the fire was left to burn alone.  Before heading home, I wandered to the embers.  Let the warmth of the coals fill my hands.  Looked up at the stars.  A wind chime in the hibiscus sounded individual notes with deep resonance, as the slightest breeze played a slow and deliberate song to the night.

I thought ahead to Fall, when I would be living the harvest time.  Days reaping the intentions of what this season sows.  I could imagine my hands warming by an autumn fire in a different place and time.  For a moment I was the bridge, glowing red-orange heating my palms.  Two fires in two times, two places.  And me, the in-between.

I may not know exactly where I’ll be.  But come Fall, I know there will be a moment, as I stand before flames, the weather colder, the days shorter.  And I’ll remember the wind chime’s song on the first night of May on a tropical island.  There at that future fire, I will consider all that has transpired.  Reflect on what was sown.  Know more of what has grown.  I hope to live that moment.

These rituals rely on future.  My human way, can’t help it.  Pretending that I will live forever.

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