A Year in the Life of a 2nd Year Student Module 4

Author: Tara Grant

fire dancerStaring into the light…a soft crackle… a warmth that radiates to my chilled skin in the crisp night air… a faint smell of smoke as logs burn to ash… a hypnotizing dance of flickering flames…

This is the second time in a week I am sitting in front of a fire, comforted by the warmth and the others around me, all moths to this light as if we need it to feel alive. Something deep inside me settles to a lower frequency, closer to the ground, melting with the burning core deep inside the earth. My gaze follows the sticks laced with puffy white marshmallows poking into the red, orange, yellow flames and then fixates to the center of the fire, burning so hot it’s almost white.

Staring into the light….I looked down from the hole in the ceiling of the yurt, the sunshine so bright my eyes took a minute to adjust to those standing around me in a circle. These are my friends, so close to my heart, we have been through so much together as a group. I feel safe here and the pieces of my soul I have just exposed are welcomed and accepted. Yes! We yelled into the light as we took turns circling into the spot in the room the sunshine filled. Last time we explored Lower Self, this time Higher Self. My voice yelled out when it was my turn, YES! and I surprised myself. I had been in so much darkness I wasn’t sure I was ever capable of this simple expression. I sighed a deep breath.

Breathe, she said, breathe. Keep breathing. Back at home, my friend runs her hands down the front of my body, a warmth that radiates to my chilled skin. Explaining how the breath should start from the belly, connecting the water in the pelvis to the fire in the chest, it should contract with the expansion of breath. Yes, I thought, the breath fuels the fire. I think back to the teachings this module: we are in Higher Self when we are breathing. Just breathing, igniting the eternal fire deep inside.

I breathe and feel the contraction into the burning core of my being and then…a soft crackle…something ignites. The fire expands, as fires are meant to do. With the expansion something emerges in me. An excitement, a potential, a longing, a fear and a deep pain…

As a child my father would build large fires in the backyard, contained in a stone pit. I would dance around them, a hypnotizing dance of flickering flames, letting go of all my fears of the world. In secret, around those fires, I told my stories to all the creatures my imagination could create. My fire was as big as the fires he built and with every story I told, my fire grew. One day my fire started to spread…bigger and brighter than the fire he created, and it jumped outside his stone walls. He didn’t know what to do, he got scared and he became ashamed of my large fire. My fire burned great, but my love for him was greater. I quickly extinguished my fire and stepped inside the stone walls he built.

Inside the walls, I said no to my fire. Inside the walls, I learned to breathe without igniting a fire. Inside the walls, I forgot how to dance and sing and tell stories. I became very small, this was the only way to stay contained within these walls, this was the only way to be loved. It became very dark inside these walls.

I knew my fire never stopped burning, a faint smell of smoke reminded me. No matter how many times I burned everything around me down to ash in a fury, the small blaze continued in the engulfing dust. The tiny flame brought me here, through all the darkness it guided me here.

In front of the fire we built at module under the clear star-filled night sky, I remembered my fire. There was no stone wall for the fire we built, it was free to burn as far as it could reach. We fed it more fuel, we marveled at its light. The light, the burning light, the same light I said YES to earlier in the day. With this YES, I fed my own fire. I took a deep breath and felt the pain of the fire in my chest. With the yes comes the pain of igniting this fire, the pain of growing big, the pain of breaking out of the stone walls, the pain of surpassing my father, my love, my support. The fear, the anger, the shame, the pain, the pain, the pain…

Another breath and a small, distant spark of light, growing bigger. I walk towards the fire, like a moth to the light, as if I need this to feel alive again. The warmth of the fire welcomes me, draws me in closer. A little girl is dancing now, a hypnotizing dance with the rhythm of the flames. She looks at me with eyes bright as the fire.

“Thank you for coming home. I’ve been waiting here a very long time, waiting for you to remember”, she says. I feel the water rising in me, meeting with the fire in my chest, and then slowly falling to the earth from my eyes. I am so sorry I abandoned you, I cry. She takes my hand and we begin to dance, a hypnotizing dance…

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