Only days ago the cats and I sat mesmerized as golden leaves from the hickory tree spiraled and spun like flickering tongues of fire against a brilliant blue sky. Today elusive flames sputter and start in the wood stove as damp logs hiss in resistance.The golden days of October have departed early it seems, leaving a skim of ice on the water in the bird bath and the need for an extra layer indoors.
A raw wind is cutting leaf from limb and opening up patches of sky in the woods that surround me. The curtain is being pulled back and I find myself in a different place.
The landscape is transforming into winter. Snowflakes could fall today.
I am feeling a bit “between the worlds” from this seemingly overnight change. The faded colors, a tiny late-blooming flower here and there among the brittle stalks, the absence of the cricket chorus… Were they saying their goodbyes and I was too busy to notice? They have withdrawn and so will the rest of us. Back into our inner spaces. Back to hearth and home. Dreaming before the welcome fire… slowing down to align with this new rhythm.
The cats are curled up deep in dreams, foregoing the urgent need to be outside.
They have surrendered to the season and I will do the same. The element of fire will lead me into its waking dreamtime as a new cycle begins on this wheel of life.
The alchemists perceived fire as “the agent of transmutation”, feeling all things derive from and return to fire. It materializes the life-force and replaces the sun in the dark days to come.
For much more eloquent discourse on the cycles of all things check out Mythos I and II (available from Netflix). These are the final lectures that Joseph Campbell gave in 1987 which were a summation of his life’s work.(This in not the Power of Myth with Bill Moyers) These talks are food for the mind and soul showing how mankind’s narrative and social history is intertwined throughout the world via the natural world and human nature. The old cycles are still active in this seemingly modern world, just somewhat smothered or obscured by the prevailing materialism.
Take a look beneath the surface and be reassured.
May your inner fire be fed by the passions that sustain you…