Come Sit By My Fire
by Pam Montgomery

Fire has always been the element that seems magical to me. It astounds me that wood of the earth along with air transforms into light and heat and then water douses the flame. What an amazing interchange fire has with the three other foundational elements! The other quality of fire that is unlike the other elements is that it must be initiated, meaning a spark must come from an outside influence so that fire is dependent upon another force for it to live. This force can be from a natural source like lightning but mostly fire is initiated by us humans. Our interaction with fire needs a more conscious relationship than that of the other elements, like the air we breathe, that we seemingly take for granted.

I love to sit outside with a fire in the summertime and yet it is during these winter months that I most engage with fire. Because we heat our house primarily with wood, every morning, all throughout the day and before bed at night the fire must be tended in our woodstove. Because our woodstove has a glass front we can see the fire all day long, as well. Each morning Mark and I sit quietly in front of the fire watching the flames dance, curl, lick and glow. It is during these early morning hours that something old and familiar moves through me and I realize that humans have been sitting around fire for eons. Yes, to cook and keep warm but it is more than that – something about fire draws you in. Perhaps it is the stories that have always been told around fires that pull at our longing to remember what has come before. Or maybe the stories that are yet to be told are knocking at our door asking us to awaken and transform just like the fire. The fire unleashes our desire to transform our life into that which we know deep in our hearts can be lived.

As I sit in front of my fire I feel a story urging, tugging at my heart to be told about the earth, the elements and our deep bonds with the natural world. I pick up Terry Tempest Williams book An Unspoken Hunger and this passage jumps out, “I have felt the pain that arises from a recognition of beauty, pain we hold when we remember what we are connected to and the delicacy of our relations. It is this tenderness born out of connection to place that fuels my writing. Writing becomes an act of compassion toward life, the life we so often refuse to see because if we look too closely or feel too deeply, there may be no end to our suffering. But words empower us, move us beyond our suffering, and set us free…..We are healed by our stories.”

So please, come sit by my fire and tell me your stories and I will tell you mine and maybe together our stories will shape a beautiful new world.