Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Fire and Rain

Maybe because of all the rain, or maybe because of the 10 year anniversary of 9/11, or for some other reason, DC is very quiet this week. It's weird because almost always, the energy rises fast and furious following Labor Day. Not this year. It makes sense that a quiet, rather somber mood as gloomy as the cloud cover would lay thick over Washington DC. I wonder how it feels in NYC?

I'm not complaining, by the way. It was a very dry summer in DC, not as dry as in Texas, but very dry so I appreciate the thirst quenching steady rains Lee brought. As a contemplative, I enjoy quiet, even the enforced quiet of a two-day rainstorm, even the somber quiet of a sad anniversary.

One thing the quiet is providing is a lot of space to listen and learn from the Indians whose spirits got pushed up to the surface when the hurriquake peeled back the layers of history. I've learned a lot about smudge which is a good thing since I burn a lot of it between clients and for personal healing. For instance, they tell me that sacred white sage, burned alone, should only be used for ritual, not for clearing energy. It is disrespectful to use it as a scrub brush, they say. Hmm. I had no idea I was being disrespectful! Yikes. The best combo for clearing energy, they say, is sage, cedar and copal. When I asked how to make the smudge burn (mine never does) they said if the smudge "likes" me it will burn. In the past, smudge has disliked me because I'm afraid of fire, they say.

Yes I AM afraid of fire, very afraid. It's instinctual, for heaven's sake. Who isn't afraid of fire? Again this morning my heart goes out to a dear one who used to live in Bastrop County, Texas until the wildfire burned the beautiful woods behind her house and virtually every other house on her street. Her house was miraculously still standing, but she can't live there anymore - no trees, no neighbors. It is devastation there. Fire is fast and deadly; I am very wary of it. But apparently I need to work more with it, try to befriend it. I want my smudge to willingly burn.

Trying to visualize a nice soaking rain developing over southeastern Texas, a rain that lasts several days, slowly rehydrating the land. May it rain. Shalom.


The Bug said...

I am fascinated by matches and making fire, but yes I'm really afraid of the actual conflagration. It's the hot - I always make Mike get things out of the microwave for me. I might get burned for heavens sake!

I think I'll spend some time visualizing rain for Texas too - couldn't hurt!

Jo said...

I, too, have an inordinant fear of fire. Is it instinctive?

I thought it was because of scary end-of-times biblical stories. Or that my father once told me if I were ever to be burned at the stake, to "breathe in the smoke and it will render you unconscious."

Good advice, I'm sure, but still. Who says that to a kid?

Thinking good thoughts today about your smudge willingly burning, and about the skies willingly opening up for the good earth in Texas.

ellen abbott said...

Oh yes, may it rain.

I'm not afraid of fire. Well, I'm afraid of a wildfire engulfing my home but fire itself I don't fear. A healthy respect for it, yes, but not fear. Fire is mesmerizing. Up until recently my home was heated by open flames (gas space heaters) and I cooked on open flame (gas stove). As a kid we had bonfires on the beach on a regular basis, a fireplace in our home.

Reya Mellicker said...

Jo - holy cow! Breathe in the smoke eh? I'm sure I've been burned at the stake, also in a crematorium.

Love the idea of building a healthy respect. Of course I love watching small fires in safe settings. I never get too close.

As a bodyworker i burn candles all the time. And I love lightning. Maybe I can work through the fear.

jeanette from everton terrace said...

We were lucky enough to get a little of your rain before we left. Meg is walking in the rain right now, said it's prepping her for getting back to Seattle. No rain here, as usual. I have no feelings toward fire but the ocean scares me. Perhaps this is why my soul seems to feel so at home here in the desert.

Reya Mellicker said...

Jeanette it's so cool to be able to "hear" your voice when I see a comment. Yay!

Linda Sue said...

Fire is good for cooking ...I feel as though I have been incinerated as well. Fire is instant grief- smudging makes me ill- incense in small doses -ok, even matches and candles sort of freak me out- but I will say that in the PNW there is nothing quite as effective as wood heat.
Not sure who makes the rules for sage on fire- sounds contrived to me and there fore I disrespect- having grown up with sage all around us- it's no big deal! Sge on fire- commonplace- lightening usually to blame- it does not know the rules, I guess.

steven said...

i love to make fire but i have respect for it because it has a life that is well beyond that of my own in terms of its will to live and especially its lack of concern for where it appears and grows. steven

Reya Mellicker said...

Yes, fire is voracious.

Linda Sue, a sage fire caused by lightning would definitely rank as a ritual in my cosmology!

These Indian spirits are funny. They appear young and behave as if they are young. They think my work is total hooey - that I and my clients are a bunch of sissies.

When they noticed what it does for the spirit of my clients, they became suddenly much more interested in massage.

Don't know how long they'll stick around, but I'm learning a lot from them as well as vice versa. Good fun, harms no one.

Kerry said...

I don't know what to say about fire, except that I so look forward to the first fire, usually in October, in the fireplace on a chilly night. And I adore candles, lots of them. When John is gone I light candles to keep me company.

I really want it to rain in Texas, ending the incredible heat and the wild fires.

Pam said...

I equate fire with a comforting warmth. Water and its coldness and depths are what scare me. I have a feeling that I was drowned as a witch! Any of the elements in full force and fury of Nature are scarey however. Some of our bushfires in Australia, as in your country are horrific and something never to be forgotten.My husband was a volunteer firefighter and sometimes he was called away for days at a time and would return looking ten years older and absolutely exhausted.I think fear and a healthy respect for these elements keeps us safe, but for those whole work encompasses the David and Goliath aspect, I say God bless 'em.

Steve Reed said...

I hope your friend will eventually be able to return to her house. What a horrible situation. My roommate used to burn sage in our apartment every once in a while, but I have a sinking feeling she never combined it with anything else!

Infinite Possibilities said...

No, I'm not afraid of fire either. Respectful, I hope. I've been playing with fire since I was really too small to be doing so. Five or six maybe. So far I've been blessed and never have set anything on fire (at leasst not that I could not put out quickly). But I also know that it can get away from me quickly and become something bigger than I am. Or more unpredictable. I don't have any thoughts to wrap this up neatly. Thinking now of all the times fire surprised or shocked me.