December 5, 2016

I tried to write about Courage & Faith, but all that came out was Fire.

Author's own, not for reuse.


We stoke the fire to uncover.

We stoke the fire so that we can see what we need to face. We stoke the fire so that we can burn through the things that are standing in our way.

And when the fire is lit, it takes us into action. We have big conversations. We open up to big tears. A big flame lights us up from the inside, and we stay in motion to keep it stoked.

This flame is like a campfire. And we are sitting around it with our friends and foes—the real and imagined.

We’re there with every failed relationship, every challenge left unmet, every word we didn’t say, every action we’ve regretted. All the ideas we’ve held about ourselves and about the world. We’re all there sitting around this bright flame hashing it out.

The night goes by, maybe we’re there for days or weeks or months. As long as someone is there to stoke this fire it will continue to grow and draw a crowd. At some point, it’s time to call it a day. The last piece of wood has been burned and we sit and watch the flame burn to embers. We go home. We sit. We absorb what has been done. The lessons that have been learned, and those that are yet to come. We’re with the embers.

The coals smolder as do our thoughts. As do all the ideas we’ve held so long about who we are and who we are meant to be. About the great love we were meant to have. About the house and the dog and the three barefoot babies who are meant to be running wild and free. In the embers, we face the reality of the situation.

And in this moment we have a choice. To stay. To sit with the discomfort. To face where we are. The dreams met and those that seem lost among the wind. Or to throw more wood on the fire and keep on digging.

Among the embers, we face what it means to be human. We will desire. And we will lose. We will want. And we will fail. And neither of these things is better. And none of these things hold more weight. No one thing is more important than the next.

Each and every moment that passes through our lives is meant to be lived.

We are not meant to skip over the transitions merely to get through to the next big thing. Each and every encounter holds meaning. Every activity of our day holds purpose. Making our bed, brushing our teeth, pouring a cup of tea. All are pieces in this unique puzzle that makes up our life.

So drop in, slow down. Do not rush through these bits as mundane necessities of everyday life. These are the basics that make up our survival. And if we do not celebrate these, then what is it all for. If we’re just waiting for the next big thing—the wedding date, the birth announcement, the funeral time—we’re missing the whole point.

It’s all the little things in-between that make up a full life.

And we see these things in the embers. We get to dance with the devil as we walk across the coals. We’re able to go through life, not unscathed, but unshakeable. We begin to see who we are at the core. At the core of our being. We are not the fancy car or the pretty-in-pink birthday party. We are raw and real and full of love and heartbreak and nights spent alone on the couch and babies with fevers and missed commitments due to sick parents. This is what makes a full life.

Are you ready to move slow enough to feel this? To experience this? Not for you, but for me. For all of us. Because we are all one, of the same breath. I breathe, you breathe, the birds, the bees, the trees, all an exchange of energy. Can you slow down long enough to see this? To feel this? To know this?

Will you come to dance with me among the flames? To plan and dream and hug and kiss, but to know when the time is right to call it a night. To burn the last log and let the fire smolder. Will you sit with me? Will you hold my hand? Look up to the moon? Count each of the stars and reminisce about the time that we got it all wrong?

Because this is a love story. It’s always been a story of love. It’s a story of you and me. About how we came to be so free. We’re not there yet, but it’s coming. The truth is in the embers. This heat is uncomfortable. It’s scary. It’s red and f*cking hot—but freedom. There is so much freedom on the other side of this. Are you able to sit with me long enough to get there? Long enough to realize what this has all been for? Long enough to know that we’ve been here before?

We’ve gone round this fire many times before, but this is the burning. The final burning round and round—it all ends here. Whatever we came in here with is coming to an end. We are so close. Just keep going. Keep going with me.

We’ll get there one day and we’ll be free.

I love you.


Author: Shawna Turner

Image: courtesy of author—photo by Kayla Rocca

Editor: Nicole Cameron

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