Tomorrow is Halloween, Samhain, the end of the cycle, the start of the long dark that takes us through Yule to Imbolc and the return of light to the world. It is a time of fire holding the dark and cold at bay. A time for old traditions, candles, and cider. We become more introspective wrapped in a comforter, feet propped up on the fender of the stove watching the flames dance. Our spirits and our bodies adjust to less light, more cold, slower pace (except for that frantic few weeks around Christmas when we all go a little nuts.) The first change I'm noticing is how my sleep cycle is altering as we once again start living with fire on a daily basis. I can hear the stove crackle and ping as it warms or cools, even dead asleep several rooms away I here it and respond. Getting up at 2 AM to add another log to our small stove doesn't really interrupt sleep that much. The mind doesn't have to come fully awake (unless I forgot to fill the wood box, or I touch the door frame as I put the log in.) I shuffle back to the deep warmth of bed without even noticing. This morning I stirred the fire back to crackling life, glad to sip my coffee and not have to go out to the woodshed in the 22 deg dark. Flicking through the blog postings of various friends I noticed that fire was a theme in many lives. Here are a couple:
From Here To Eternity: The Wood-Fired Cooker
The Contrary Goddess: First Fire
Feel free to share your stories of fire in the long dark season.