The day is calm, and the sun pierces the soft blue sky; it brings to life the forest floor, igniting the pine needles’ aroma below.
My bare feet softly caress the earth’s surface, and my painted pink toes take pleasure in the dirt below.
I am gathering fallen pieces of dry wood, and I stack it at the base of my stone hearth—cedar boughs and sage line the entrance of the fire’s home.
I sit on my grizzly bear rug and stack pieces of birch bark I have collected carefully on top of each other. I create a log cabin with my sticks, a home for the flames. I strike my match and let the birch catch.
As the heat erupts and takes its place amongst the stones, I insert my sage and cedar boughs and walk around my home, purifying the energies and the air.
I start to feel the warmth filling the space and hear the fire’s crackle and spit.
I stride down to the river, and the ice still covers half the lake as winter says goodbye and spring starts to show herself.
A bald eagle soars overhead, adding to the ambient atmosphere.
I take off my silk robe as the sun goes down, and I walk toward the water, sinking slowly into its icy chambers.
I surrender and allow myself to feel alive. I lay on my back and float in this abyss as the darkness and cold envelop me. I think once again I am in my mother’s womb—minutes, days, moments pass. I am unsure, and I come to the surface and walk intimately back to shore.
I breathe deeply and allow my robe to slip over my shoulders.
I float back to the fire and let it lick the drops of water from my skin and fuel my soul.
I sit cross-legged and meditate before this mighty creature of light.
I allow myself to come back into my body and go to the kitchen; I heat the water in my mushroom-painted kettle, and take loose-leaf peppermint tea, and place it in my handmade mug. I spoon wildflower honey into the mixture.
I pour the hot water and bring the infusion I have created to life, and I walk toward my bathroom.
I light a thousand white candles, and as their wicks turn into flames, I breathe in their calming infusion.
Rose and carnation petals float at the surface of the antique yellow clawfoot tub.
I take lavender essential oils and massage them on my skin.
I slip out of my robe once again and sink into warmth and baptize myself amongst the flowers. My head submerges, and a sense of peace washes over me. I am free. Tears cascade down my cheeks, and I embrace myself again and again.
I come up from the surface and find the edges of my book; I bring the paper to my nose and inhale the infusion of this deadwood deeply.
I allow myself to escape into the story and find myself falling down rabbit holes and feel like Alice wandering around trying to find herself.
The water temperature starts to drop; I mark my place in the story and set it down on the oak wood floor.
I unplug the drain and set the water free.
I look into the mirror and gaze at the blue in my eyes. I say thank you and whisper, “I love you.”