Roaring, snapping, flickering fire. Blossoming to life beneath our hands, warming our bodies, beguiling our eyes, comforting our light-hungry spirits....
Entering the longest, darkest night of the Northern hemisphere, I long for fire.
The slow, mesmerizing dance of flames entrances human creatures in the way that only another elemental force—flowing water—can. Gaze upon this glorious, ever-changing, fulminating flower, and you are swallowed by the Now. You live your existence in leaping flames, free for a timeless moment from circling thoughts that pull you away from Here. You are fully present and still...at rest, at peace. Like calls to like: This living creature brightly burning in the darkness is an analog for the shining spark of life we each carry within.
Before dawn on this shortest of days, the solstice—stillness—held us so close, lulling us in sleep, whispering of rest, renewal; of cold things in stasis and warm, fur-bearing beings nestled deep in dens, noses tucked under tails.
It is better to light a candle than curse the darkness, it has been said. Better yet to love both darkness and shadow—as essential and rightful to this world as light. For only in the deepest darkness can we see the endlessly roaring fires of the stars, and most wholly love both the darkness and the flame.
But for today, the Winter Solstice, Darkness is our music, and Light, our beloved dance partner.
Winter solstice: 5:12am this day, in this place.