Saturday, 18 August 2012

The natural order of life

I was given a garden fire basket by a friend a few years ago. In the evenings and into the night I love to get bundled up in my cosy clothes, light the fire and sit watching it do it's thing.  It doesn't simply provide me with warmth, but also a beautiful, colourful piece of mesmerising art.
So off I go to collect the tiny twigs, the small kindling sticks..and a couple of bigger logs from my store. I'm always a tiny bit excited to be outside setting a fire - maybe it's just one of life's fundamental pleasures, I don't really know, I just know I love it!
The flames seem to lick higher than I expect, the wind, even the most gentle, can tease the flames causing them to swirl and twist changing direction suddenly and dramatically.
White pieces of ash fly around the basket, then up and up they go off into obscurity.  Only seconds before they were an essential part of the combustion process.  The warmth, colour and beauty would not have been produced without them. The role of those tiniest twigs, though crucial was short lived and transient in the extreme!  As the fire keeps burning through the smallest twig on into the biggest log the end product is the same.  Feathery grey and white pieces of ash jumping, leaping, swirling and dancing in the base of the fire basket.
Sometimes we can think of ourselves as crucial, essential parts of the world, be it in work, or within our community or as a member of our family.  It might serve us well to remember that no matter what we think we are, we are certainly not a vital or indestructible part of life.  It can bring humility to the fore when we recognise wherever we are, and whatever we do, the twigs, kindling and logs are all equally important and would struggle to produce fire without the support of each other.
"All mankind...being all equal and independent, no one ought to harm another in his life, health, liberty or possessions." - John Locke

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