The Summer Solstice Fire

 

The fire was so hot we had to put our chairs far from it.

Our solstice fire was a success.  By that I mean I was able to get it started quickly and it burned hot enough to eat up most of the small green branches from the apple tree.

At the beginning of the spring, I broke up two of the wooden outdoor chairs that were falling apart, knowing their dry wood, would be good for the Solstice fire.

The fire felt cleansing to me this year.  Like it was not only burning up old physical things, like the chairs and cardboard that I used to mulch my garden but non-tangible things too.

I’ve been working with my therapist to come to a better understanding about my feelings about my birth family.  In the past weeks many of my old beliefs and guilt that I couldn’t let go of are finally starting to subside.

I hadn’t thought of it as healing until now, but I think that is what is happening.  The gathering of the wood, lighting the fire and feeding it in the evening light, was like a fever burning off the sickness.

Liam watching from the polebarn while the rest of the sheep grazed far from the fire

The sheep were in the south pasture when we started the fire.  They grazed there for a while, but when they wanted to come back to the barn, they were frightened by the fire. There was plenty of room for them to go around it, but it was right in their usual path.

I tried to guide them and they eventually came running in, led by Liam, keeping as much space as possible between them and blaze.

All by Asher, who was left alone in the pasture.  He was especially fearful and had a few starts and stops before finding his way to the rest of the sheep.

This morning while the rest of the sheep went to graze, Asher stayed in the polebarn.  I wondered if he still wasn’t uncertain because of what happened the night before. So I squatted down next to him and talked to him.

I did this in words out loud and brought up images in my head of him safely getting past the fire. “You’re right to be fearful of fire I told him.  But it was a safe fire and there’s nothing to be afraid of now. ”

Then I stood up, scratched his back for a bit, and he followed me out of the barn to join the other sheep.

Jon went in early as he usually does during our fires.  The insects love him and once they start biting, he has welts from the bites for days and weeks.  He also has a camera loaded with photos that he wants to post on his blog and write about.

It started to rain as it began to get dark.

Fate kept me company as I raked the lingering branches into the now burning embers of the fire.  I sat on the stone foundation, wet from rain, and watched the fire glow brighter as the long day flowed into night.

When all the branches were gone and the fire became smoldering charcoal I closed the gate to the south pasture and opened the gate to the back pasture.  A place where the sheep and donkeys could graze as far from the fire as they chose.

Then I texted Jon...my ass is wet.  

I’ll rub it for you…he texted back.

So I went in.

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