I begin today’s journey at the top of 300 stairs. Each step down a reminder to let go, until I finally reach the beach. It is windy and cold – not quite deserted. My first moments, I find sea glass – a rarity on this stretch of sand.
A small sailboat races across the Sound. “You are the boat. Life is the sea.” The sails are at full tilt. Shall I move head first into the year? A giant piece of ancient roots sits like a sentinel in the sand. It is the focus of my attention – grounded and solid.
Continuing down the beach, I seek a fire pit to burn my list of good-bye’s. I know my matches will not take hold in this mighty wind. My lone fire will not be enough. How can I burn my list? I need fire to let go. Spying a family gathered around a flame, I understand I can ask for help. I don’t have to do everything alone. Fire is meant to be shared. Someone else can help warm me.
“May I feed your fire?”
“Of course,” they respond. And so I drop my list of good-byes into the pit. It doesn’t light at first. I feel silly for a moment – old judgments stir inside my gut. The man tells me it is an “inherited” fire, left by someone who came to burn a Christmas tree. The flame is being passed. My list crinkles at the edges, bursts into flame and then it is gone – just like that. I thank them. They thank me and I realize how deeply we have shared without full explanation or many words at all.
As I walk away, there is a tugging in my heart. Did I expect to feel lighter? I have let go and now I feel a little shaky and not sure what to do next. So, I head back toward the stairs, but first I must pass through the tunnel under the railroad tracks – retracing my steps. My shakiness dissipates as I witness what is before me in mosaic-form– fire and water together. It is a sign to me that I don’t have to give up one to receive the other. I can have them both.
But, just in case my thick head won’t remember and forgets too quickly, there is another gift on the wall. “May your soul always be on fire.” I am overwhelmed by the welcoming of the Universe – God surrounding me. I am the boat and life is the sea. We are in this together.
One foot in front of the other, I begin the climb back up the steps. Step. Receive. Breathe. Step. Receive. Breathe. Upward and onward into the year. Fire inside. Moist air surrounding. Solid ground beneath my feet.
all photos taken Saturday, January 2, 2010 © lucy