I love fire. I'm a fire sign, so that is likely part of it. It has always been a fascination. I find it beautiful and amazing in its power to transform. It's also very destructive. I grew up in the high desert of Nevada. Fire is a part of life, one that we lived in partial fear of, and one that is, ultimately, a huge part of the ecosystems of the West.
Fire is a destroyer. You only have to watch news coverage of California's wildfires to see that, but what you can't see in that coverage is what it creates. Fire is a part of my local ecosystem in the Bay Area of California, so much so that it is chief among the legends about how the Ohlone and Miwok lived with this land. After a fire here, things begin anew. The spring following is amazing. From black, charred earth tiny green sprouts rise. Grasses and wildflowers bloom with strength, and not long after that, other things like pine trees that had needed a fire to break through their seed coat, take root. The death brought by the fire is the very thing a new generation of plants needs to thrive. Humans harness fire to do similar feats of transformation. Fire turns mud to pottery, raw rocks into metal, and sand into glass. We use it to make our societies, to warm ourselves, and even in warfare. Fire is the thing of stories, but it is a real friend and just as frightening a foe. Fire is the powerful metaphor for emotions and social movements.
As my lungs burn from the smoke of wildfires, I feel called to bless this element and receive its blessings in return. Fire, great creator and transformer and destroyer, I honor your strength and purpose and passion. I acknowledge that in order to create, things must be destroyed. I honor your power to transform the mundane into the profound and ask that you light and warmth fill my life and that fire help me and not destroy me. I welcome the new life that comes from burning, and I remember, always, that fire is part of the cycles of life. It has a place and a purpose, even when I cannot see it.