Lulu And The Fire


photo by Jon Katz

It’s 9 pm, the day just beginning to fade.  We sit at the fire and watch it crumble into itself.

Our Solstice bonfires always chase the sheep and donkey to the far pasture.   But now Lulu and Fanny are slowly making their way around the old stone foundation.   They stop on the other side of the fire opposite us.  They are standing on the bare ground where we had last year’s fire.  The place where they roll to take a dust bath.

Lulu stays, her ears up when Fanny wanders back to the sheep.

I get up from where I’m sitting and go to her.  Standing beside her,  I scratch Lulu’s neck, hypnotized by the soothing repetitive movement and the steady glowing flames.

It’s hard to put into words what happened next.

It’s more image and feeling.  What I saw seemed to come out of a fairy tale.  A moving illustration of a woman and a donkey walking together.  The colors are intense. Primary blue, green, red and white.

I am the woman and Lulu is the donkey.  We are walking where the fire should be but isn’t.

Without words, Lulu is relaying to me that existence is timeless.  For a moment I know what eternity feels like.  She “tells” me that we’ve done this before, we’ll do it again. There is no divide between the past, present, and future.

And then, like waking up from a dream, it’s over.  Lulu walks away and I go back to my chair by the fire.

I try to hold onto the feeling of enchantment, the peaceful sensation that everything is ok.  That life doesn’t just begin and end, it’s larger than that and all in a moment.

But it fades like the passing clouds.

I turn to Jon.  “The strangest thing happened with Lulu just now,” I say to him.  I can feel a slight smile of wonder spreading on my face. I try to explain, but my words are lacking.

Jon saw it though, he took a picture of me and Lulu standing together. Talking without words.

My ability to describe what happened is still lacking, but it will have to do.

I  have a feeling that the fire helped open me and Lulu up to each other. That standing before it somehow allowed for our communication. That it is a day before the actual Solstice doesn’t seem to matter.

Now, if I’m very still and concentrate on my belly, I can find a whisper of that feeling. Then the corners of my mouth curve slightly up and I know it’s somewhere inside of me.

A place to go, to know everything is ok.

14 thoughts on “Lulu And The Fire

  1. My first thought reading your description was that you and Lulu were in a place and time between present and past, an “other worldly timeless place” that is always coexisting with “now and here” but not often accessable or known.
    And then I thought of your 45+ year old cactus, your journey together, and the offspring that will carry it’s existence forward. The 2 stories feel like they come from the same cloth.
    It’s a wondrous and deep experience you and Lulu stepped into. It’s beautiful to witness, through the generous sharing of your innermost journey.

    1. I suppose the stories are related LoisJean, I’ll have to think about it more. They seemed so separate to me, I couldn’t write them in the same piece. I’ll have to think about it more.

  2. I think the most powerful word picture you have painted Maria, it does my heart good. Today is a difficult day and you and Lulu have helped bring me back to the whole.

  3. A transcendent moment/experience, indeed, so close to Solstice and a ‘parting of the veil’ that the ancients celebrated in joy. Words will probably never serve a total description because the knowing is not knowing— a paradox of the heart, not mind. I think your expression of it is about as near perfect as you can get! I’m not the least bit surprised to hear it happened for you. Happy summer, my friend.

    1. I hadn’t thought of the Solstice’s part in this Cheryl. Of course that makes sense. Knowing is not knowing….that’s just it.

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