The Fire or the Log?
by Jeanette Slater
On cool mornings I love nothing more than curling up with a mug of coffee in front of the fire in my “fireplace.” See I don’t have a fireplace but I do have a video of an actually fire in a fireplace. I love it because I can easily flip it on and off, it doesn’t smoke up the house, and I don’t have to clean up the ashes.
I love just watching the fire burn, all the random flames licking the logs and spiraling into space and the sound of the logs crackling and popping with the sparks flying. While this fire is fed by gas, there are also real logs in the mix that burn and drop ashes and settle. However every 10 minutes, there is a brief pause and the video loops back to the beginning and the fire and logs reset.
In contemplating this fire I found in it a wonderful metaphor for meditation and second half of life. A friend said that her meditation mantra is “being seated” and “being available.” It is like the fire logs, they are seated in the fireplace and they are simply available to the fire.
It brings to mind the proverbial burning bush that Moses found in the dessert. It too was simply there and available. And like the burning bush, the wood in my fireplace is not consumed as the fire (video) renews itself regularly. Am I willing to be seated and available without fear of being diminished? Am I willing to be the fuel for the ‘consuming fire’ that warms those around me and gives light for the journey?
As I mentioned this fire is partially gas fed, and yet the logs are an integral part co-creating together fire, light, heat and experience. This is a wonderful image of the way I believe the Eternal works with us to make a difference in the world around us.
Remember sitting in front of a campfire listening to the snap, crackle and pop as the logs heat up? The heat is expanding tiny spaces that expand and explode into the world casting off sparks that then have the potential to start other fires. And yet it is not the wood doing this, it is the fire. Am I willing to have my tiny spaces expand beyond who or what I am?
In first half of life, I would have imagined myself to be the fire. I am fueled to make a difference, to consume, to cast off sparks, to start other fires, to reproduce myself. Now I am more content to be seated and available for the Eternal Fire.
Thank you Jeannette for sharing!