Hope has been sparking in my rib cage and in my bellybutton for months now, friends. I think you probably know that. And despite a few unfortunate days when I allowed Worry to enjoy some small, petty victories (remember my vision of the Worry Door? I didn’t see that because I wasn’t worrying.)… I have thankfully managed to protect that spark of hope and fan it into a flame. And that flame is taking off like wildfire all through me. It is heating me from the inside out, making external circumstances very nearly irrelevant to my joy. And this wildfire is lighting the way, too, helping me see through some inevitable darkness.
Maybe this is why our regular bonfires have been so special to me. Handsome and I really enjoy opening the farm for friends and loved ones, to light fallen trees in the fire pit and gather around and talk and laugh and have a good time.
We soak up the heat on the coldest days and evenings and sometimes when it’s warm out, too.
We loiter there at the rocky edge until the skin on our faces seems to shrink and our jeans are so hot we can barely sit down. We trade burdens and worries for ponytails filled with ashes and jackets that smell like wood smoke for the rest of the week. We stare into the red and yellow glow, side by side, rubbing our hands and snuggling and just enjoying every moment.
We wait for the flames to jet ferociously out of the ends of hollow trunks, then we watch the tree bark turn scaly and black. We search for shapes in the changing fire the way children gaze at clouds on summery afternoons.
Between jokes and ghost stories we sometimes fall into that flame-licked trance that slows and strengthens your heart all at once. I love that hot, tympani beat. We move our chairs around the edge of the fire pit every few minutes, to avoid the smoke, and sometimes have to run away laughing because it’s so thick. But the cold always scoffs at our isolation, and we happily scuttle back for more fiery abuse.
There is something undeniably primal about circling around a fire with people you love. I’m always a little sad when we can’t host a weekly bonfire for whatever reason, usually the Oklahoma wind, but the most important fire is still spreading in us. I feel it. I see evidence of it. And I am so thrilled to be learning how to protect it from whatever it is that wants us to live without the heat and the light.
I believe you can celebrate answers even before they arrive, and that such a joyful anticipation feeds that fire. It quickens the answer, too, and makes it even more beautiful.
Do you feel it too?
Do you have a wildfire in your heart, threatening to overtake all of your fears and your pain? Let it. Surrender to it. Feed that fire and protect it.
If you can, please join us for one of our Lazy W bonfires soon. If you can’t, then light a fire where you are and think fondly of us. I wish you and yours all the warmth and comfort, all the laughter, and all the hope you need. It is right there available to you.
“One can enjoy a wood fire worthily
only when he warms his thoughts by it
as well as his hands and feet.”