The light begins to return today. The season of the dormant seed.. potential and hope. This is my favorite season.. this part of the life cycle.. for the promise of life being held within the shell deep of the seed in the ground as the visions that come after the harvest now must lie in wait.. and, for the potential of each seed.. between now and the great turning in early February when the light shifts to a sweet pastel yellow is the time to consider the seeds to be planted the coming cycle. As a tender of plants and soil and other living things this metaphor for this season speaks to me. What seeds will you plant this year?
I have sat in this spot on this river for 20 years. I never tire of it or wish I was somewhere else when I am here. When I visit this spot something inside me remembers, wakes up, and feelings flow like the water that is held between the banks. This is a place I call home. A place where my heart melts and my mind calms..
My good friend Mike says, “tending your fire is like tending yourself”. I think he’s right. A glowing bed of coals is the heart of the fire. It is where the heat comes from but those coals have to be fed or they go out. As I’ve been reflecting on the solo fires from this past weekend and the brave women who went out into the forest to take the journey into the night I’ve been thinking a lot about why the solo fire is such an important part of my life and why like Sit Spot I want to share it with others. Tending a fire is sometimes work and almost always worth it to me. We need it both for survival and as a great teacher of presence. The more I practice tending the fire and spending time with it the more I get out of it. (Very much like sit spot.) The harder I work at tending my fire well the fewer toxic thoughts run through my mind. The more I watch it the better I understand how to feed it. A near perfect metaphor for living. Staying up all night with a fire in this way for the first time reaches into the depths of determination we each carry with us. We have to keep it alive. We have to keep ourselves alive by feeding it, watching it, tending it. Sometimes we doze off, sometimes we put on wood that's too rotten and it creates a lot of smoke. Sometimes, you have to feed it constantly to keep it alive and sometimes it goes out. No matter what the night comes. With a Solo Fire you walk the edge of light and learn about life. This is why we do the Solo Fire.
This spot is one of my favorites on the trail when I ride. It is obviously overgrown but it is teaming with life. There’s a towhee family in here, wrens, Brown thrashers who alarm everytime a bike comes by (I imagine they don’t get a lot of rest when folks are getting off work). I’ve seen a great blue heron in here, goldfinch, heard the flickers tonight and some downy woodpeckers... man I do love a shrubby and overgrown edge.
Resilience: The capacity to recover quickly from difficulties..
These last few weeks have been trying to say the least. We are all okay, but damn.. Every where I turn something requires my heartfelt attention. I am grateful to have such love and the capacity for such love that I want to give it and do so easily. I come back again and again to stores of strength I forget I have until I need them. The one place I am struggling to give the attention due is to myself as I know it will come in time - right now, I am wondering when.. I am going to be honest folks and say I am tired. I am worn slap out. I need a break.. I am not depressed. I am not sad. And I am not lonely or longing for anything other than some span of time that I can call my own.. I am oddly content even in the midst of the chaos of living.. And, we have been in the thick sticky of life. If you see me or think of me.. or see us or think of us.. send a little extra squeeze or well wishes on this glorious fall breeze. For now, I'm going to zip up my hoodie and enjoy the setting sun.