Summer is fire season in Arizona and, living here, we always hope it won’t be a bad one. Right now, there is a huge fire burning in Oak Creek Canyon, just a few miles north of Sedona, only about 10 miles from my home.
I notice that whenever there is a big forest fire like there is now, there is tremendous energy in the air. Last year there was a fire in Yarnell in which 22 firefighters lost their lives. I remember feeling that, as I was breathing the smoky air, I was actually breathing in their ashes, their released energies, as well as the energies of the trees and all other living things being consumed by the fire. They were truly part of me. I feel that sense now—being part of the whole organism we call Life.
We humans are so accustomed to managing our environments—our homes, lifestyles, health, controlling the heat and humidity in our homes and our vehicles. When these big natural events crop up, it is an opportunity to remember who and what we are: nano-specks in the big picture of the cosmos, of Creation, of the Everything. And yet, we matter. It all matters.
I’ve stepped into experiencing the elements as living beings as well, feeling the presence of fire, wind, water and earth as Life Force, living expressions of Divine Presence. And so for the last two days, I’ve felt humbled by this roaring of the earth and compelled to stop and listen. To be still and listen to what it is saying—the need to clear, to balance to cleanse, to renew. To trust.
The last two days I happened to be building a new flower and vegetable garden in my back yard. It has been a vision since I moved into this house a couple of years ago, and now it is a reality. Yesterday afternoon as I sat with an iced coffee looking at this creation, I thought about the juxtaposition of destruction and creation. Forest fires destroy, and make way for the new.
As I sent some prayers for the land, and for those lives affected by this event, I wanted to make some offering. Perhaps it was some primordial desire to calm the fire gods rising up out of an ancient memory still encoded in my DNA. I thought of how we are so clumsy and clueless about so many things. We take so much for granted—our homes, our lives, things like TV, cars, grocery stores. We are so plugged into ‘normal’, stomping all over everything and everyone to appease our need for ‘normal.’
I do a lot of work with this in my healing sessions. It has been my own journey of healing and expansion this last years—letting go of ‘normal’ to make way for greater possibilities. Our souls are wired this way, just like the Universe. This is that stirring up, that dissatisfaction, that discomfort—it is our souls calling us out of settling for ‘normal’, and daring us into a greater experience of Life and Beauty and Creation. But it requires us to step through the fear, to let go of the drama that wants to rise up, and to breath deeply into the possibilities contained in the smoke and ashes of what has always been. Letting go and trusting.
So I felt moved to simply dedicate my tiny little flower bed, with its new little plants, to the planet as an offering of beauty and creation in the face of this destruction.
Yes, fire is a natural process, and life goes in cycles. I am in no way minimizing the destruction. The stillness and quiet and humility I feel are part of honoring the magnitude of the destruction and transition taking place. I pray for the safety of those affected directly. And I pray for the balance of these earth energies of fire, air, water and earth. Yet these events are a reminder to look at a bigger picture, to listen, and to trust in the Ultimate Benevolence, to breathe in the smoke and ashes of what was, bow and humbly say Yes.