Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Dancing in the Fire

Friday night our trailer was surrounded by the smoke of what smelled like a brush fire. Not seeing any flames or hearing screaming sirens, we chose not to worry. The following morning, Bugsy woke me early. I looked to the east and saw the beginning blush of what looked to be a promising sunrise. Grabbing my camera, I went out to enjoy the prettiest sunrise I’ve seen in a while. Smoke, like clouds, does amazing things to the rising sun.

This morning, for my daily walk, I headed north, down Bailey-Waters. When I reached the intersection at Hwy 52, I saw the culprit of our weekend smoke surprise. The northeast corner was charred from a fire. I crossed and continued, walking in the shade on the burn side of the road to avoid the heat of the day.

As I walked, I pondered the burn that had licked the grass by the side of the road and stretched as far through the woods as I could see. It appeared that only the underbrush had burned and I wondered if the fire had been intentional. On Saturday, Ivy and I had walked through a controlled burn area on the Amicalola Creek Interpretive Trail that looked a lot like what I was seeing today.

About a half mile up Wesley Chapel (the name changes after crossing Hwy 52), I saw red and blue streamers hanging from a tree limb, then a two-foot wide swath that meandered off through the woods.

To the right of the swath the forest floor was charred, to the left it was not. Aha, here was the answer to my question. Nailed to a tall pine on the unburned side of the trail, prominently displayed, was a Posted No Trespassing sign. There had been no such signs on the burn side, so this was a property line. The owner to the right must have orchestrated a controlled burn.

I wondered if the Fire Dept had been on site, tending it. I marveled at how a two-foot-wide fire break could keep a fire of that magnitude from leaping to the other side, which remained untouched. And at how the FD knew it would only burn the undergrowth and not the whole forest. During my eleven years in Southern California, where raging fires are the norm, I developed a deep respect for fire fighters and the Fire Department.

As I walked beside the burned forest, I couldn’t help but ponder the effect of that fire on the trees and the wildlife. During SoCal fires, I would be devastated by the screams of the innocent animals and plants that I could feel and hear in my psyche.

People, for the most part, are able to get out of harm's way. But the other beings have no place to go, no cars or horse trailers to carry them to safety.

It comforted me that here, in this fire, only the forest floor was burned. Though, I’m sure it was no comfort to the millions of insects that were living in the deadfall or were unable to burrow deep enough in to the forest floor. Or any baby animals too small for the mums to pick them up and run. Oh golly, there I go, aching for the littles again.

But, I dally at getting to my point.

The point is that my own metaphorical fire was of the controlled variety. It had consumed me. I’d been dancing around in it, hopping from foot to foot, whining and screaming and complaining; about the heat, the smoke and all manner of things. I'm done leaping around in that fiery furnace.
Reiki38 Mandala by Felertishiya Galiver
I made choices. I followed Divine orders. I did what had to be done. I questioned. Oh yes, I questioned. I am, after all, very human. But I did it.

It was not done to me. I was not a victim, like the innocent plants, insects and animals who get struck by physical fire. Mine was a controlled burn, attended by Divine. My fire was for pruning, for purification, to get rid of what was not needed in my life. It had a boundary line, a fire break, even though it wasn't perceptible to me. As the flames die out, the dross will be gone. And what’s left will be golden and bright.

Sun Mandala by Sebastion Schimpf, http://www.zabcontact.de/
I see now the choice before me.

I will no longer dance around in the fire, nor cry about it. I choose to move beyond the fire line, with as much grace and dignity as I can muster.


A.T. Post said...

Filled me the warmth of a comforting campfire, this did. Splendidly written, truth between the lines, hopefully concluded. I'm glad you've seen the choice before you, Rebel. Hope the road is easy.

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

Ah, Postman, thank you. Hopefully concluded indeed. If not for my incessant need to analyze, to view from all possible angles, to question, to search for meaning...who knows...maybe I'd already be done.

But such is my nature, and this quest that is life. I am a seeker, after all, as are you. Do easy roads come easy? Or must I make those difficult too?

Larry Kollar said...

Yup, that was a controlled burn. Mrs. Fetched says it's actually part of the Wesley Chapel property.

I heard you might be looking at my mother-in-law's trailer now....

Olivia J. Herrell, writing as O.J. Barré said...

FAR, wow! It truly is a small world. Especially in Dawsonville, lol. Your MIL was delightful on the phone, starting out with "what trailer?" Then proceeding to, "oh, yeah. sometimes I forget I have it." Gotta love a woman like that.

I haven't been able to get my roomie over there to look at it, he's working early till late every day. It's a little more than we need, but I like that it's so close to where we are now. I love it out here. Are you and Mrs. Fetched in one of the other houses?

Larry Kollar said...

We're on the other end of the circle, across the road. I shot you an email last night… there's someone else looking at it, but she'd rather rent it to you & Randy. (I didn't want to get involved in that, since I'd get the blame if things don't work out, but I didn't have a choice, ha!) Maybe the four of us (you, Randy, me, Mrs. F) can get together this weekend? That could be lots of fun.

A.T. Post said...

Easy roads are the hardest. You've got to do the most work to get to 'em.

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