When I was young my dad used to light the fire in our kitchen on winter mornings. He had his own ritual for cleaning the grate, removing the ashes, setting the kindling and feeding air to the fire so that the flame would take and the fire would burn strong.
So this morning as I was lighting the fire in my own kitchen I was thinking about my dad and how he probably learnt from his mam or dad and I how I learnt from him.
And then I thought about all the people around the world lighting fires this morning in houses, in huts, in yurts. When I was in Mongolia wood for the fire was gathered from the land as the nomads roamed with their herds. In Peru lama dung was collected, dried and traded at the market as a source of fuel. Different places, different peoples, similar routines, something primal and ancient connecting us all.
In Mongolia the fire is cared for in a stove in the centre of the yurt. The nomads are very insistent that you never burn rubbish in the hearth and heart of their home. The fire is sacred. And I thought about our individual fires, the fire in our belly, do we clean the grate daily, set new kindling and allow the flame to burn strong? And do we teach others just as my dad did to do the same?
So as we head towards solstice the darkest day before we welcome the return of the light, my desire is to provide good fuel for my inner fire so that my light can burn bright.
Yuletide Blessings, my loves.