Last week I burned off the asparagus patch and then burned the ditch. It’s a rural spring practice. Clear off the dead tall grass to make way for the fresh. As the fire made its way up the ditch it crept along slowly. Then with a breath of wind or a more suitable patch of grass it would flare. Giving off greater heat the flames leap higher and rush forward. The crackling and snapping loud.
In a moment the acceleration was spent and the fire goes back to creeping. It moves at its snail pace until the next ripe circumstance of fuel and oxygen come together. Again the fire roars and rushes on.
This is so much like building a life. We move along doing the best we can with the knowledge and resources available to us. Sometimes everything comes together and we make rapid progress. We are HOT. Burning bright, big, and loud. Then it’s over and we go back to a slower pace. This is the natural cycle in work, love, family, finances and spirituality.
It is rare for us humans to accept the natural cycle. We always seem to want to be something more. We want to blaze trails, burn bright. We discount creeping along. It is exhilarating to be on fire and rush forward. It is, also, unsustainable for extended time without some part getting burned. Usually if we are killing it in an aspect of life there another aspect where we are coming up short. This is also normal and natural.
The creeping fire accomplishes the goal of clearing the ditch. Fire is light, heat, and transformation. In this case dead grass changed to ash. Snarled overgrowth changed to clear ground opening the way for renewal. It does not matter how large or small the fire is. The light, warmth and transformation elements are present.
I’ve found myself leaning hard on each thing I accomplish in a day. Claiming the smallest flames as evidence that I’m still in motion. That my pilot light is still on. The chaotic vibrations and disruption of the world right now DO have impact. It threatens to extinguish joy, sanity, trust, and faith. Many of us are very much creeping along, hanging on. Yet we ARE still alight. We kindle the fire with almost everything we do. I appreciate those who are:
Watching movies with their kids
Connecting on the phone
Out and about running their errands
Ordering take out
Posting funny positive memes
Showing up daily for work
Engaged in the service of others
Playing online games with large numbers of friends
These are flickering flames of inspiration and normalcy. We are, all of us, keeping the fire going. Every action, each engagement, is light, warmth, and transformation.
For Your Best Possible Self
Coach Christine Clark