There is a woodstove in the large open kitchen where I live. I do all of my work in this kitchen, writing, playing on Facebook too much, cook, eat. When I first moved in, I even thought about moving a mattress into the kitchen too. That way I could practically seal the room off as if it was a small cabin, to cozy in for the winter. There is a bathroom down the hall. That is convenient too.
This woodstove has become my altar. A living altar. Sitting in front of this fire everyday in the colder months has taught me a new spirituality on top of all the other weavings of spiritual essences that make up my being.
Fire is such a mystery. It gives off a beautiful warmth that any other source of heat can’t compete with, at all. It contains a powerful energy and Native peoples believe that it has consciousness. I believe that too.
I give this fire love. And it gives it back to me. This morning I offered tobacco to the fire, which is an ancient sacred practice of honoring the Great Spirit within the fire. Fire is part of the Great Spirit. One can offer tobacco with prayers outside too—as the base of large beautiful trees is an excellent place for that. But to offer it to the fire amps those prayers up more. I can feel this.
Sometimes I scoop up the heat from the fire when I have the woodstove doors open and I bring that heat/energy to my heart. Or my wounded wombspace that needs a lot of love. That heat/energy is love.
Sometimes I stand in front of the woodstove and connect with Creator and Earth Mother as I have been taught and I feel such a rush of energy move through me. This hardy steel woodstove with “Timberline” etched in raised letters on the front is a crucible of mystery and comfort for me.
I take great comfort in the Great Mystery in the fire and outside of the woodstove also. It is humbling to sit in front of any fire, if one really thinks about it. I know that scientists think they know how fire works. But do they really know? Do they know about the mysteries beyond the physical action of flames? Do they know that one can communicate with a fire and the fire will respond to you, guide you, tell you where to place the log or shift one to allow more air to move through it to help it burn better? Native medicine people know these things and more. There is great wisdom to garner from fire when one learns to listen.
When the guy with the big truck comes and delivers a huge load of firewood to my house. I thank him. And then it is time to start stacking the wood. This is part of the spiritual practice of fire. I thank the trees that gave their lives so I can have heat all winter. I send my love to the Standing Ones (as trees are called in Native traditions) and to the Sun for sending the energy down so trees could take it in and photosynthesize. I thank Earth Mother and Creator for their collective brilliance in creating all of these systems infused with mystery into all this life on this amazing Earth. I really do. I can practically bliss out stacking wood. Not the same bliss as tending a garden but almost.
It’s the love. It’s there, everywhere. Earth Mother is full of love and the Sun sends even more love and, le voila! We have food! We have trees that give us oxygen, and wood, and great strong beings to hug along the trail. (Watch out for poison ivy though!) We have four-leggeds and winged ones, and finned ones… the list is so long.
We have fire! We have it all and have forgotten it’s all love. Sourced from love, gives love and… Creator and Earth Mother are waiting for us to give our love back to them. We have forgotten how to reciprocate on that essential level of existence.
So I give love to this woodstove filled with burning logs. I give love to the fire. Daily I do this in the colder months and I am burning the logs. I miss this practice when it gets warmer. This morning it was fed sacred tobacco that I grew myself to give even more love.
What an amazing way to start the day. I am so blessed, so blessed. And humbled to be part of this amazing dance of life and love here. Now.