This month, I was astounded by the sheer volume of bypassers I saw on the route around my local mountain. But what I was more astounded by was the way we shared the route with the same intention. That was to collect vast amounts of pine cones for our open fires.
I couldn’t help but notice how openly heartfelt these people were. I wondered if there was a connection between the folks picking pine cones and the way they served their lives. Naturally, as a pine cone picker would, I asked the others about why they were out picking pine cones.
Each one came back with a strangely relatable response and there I realised the power of the open fire.
“It’s very communal.” A lady said to me one day as she was out with her husband, picking mushrooms. “We collect the wood and pine together, we build it together, we burn it together and we watch it die together.” She added with an air of romance.
“We come out everyday.” He husband joined in. “One thing I’ve learned across my life is that whatever cuts you off from the nature, the trees or the rivers will kill your soul. A fire is part of that. It connects us to our true nature and who we really are.” He said with a very healthy looking spirit.
It was true that, I realised. I sometimes wondered about the blind forces of the nature and how it felt very healing, connecting and cleansing. Be it the fauna or the trees, the woods or the pines and the flowers or the dying leaves.
As I waved goodbye to the passing couple that day, I turned to my walking companion who was out collecting pine cones with me.
“What do you think about the benefits of the fire?” I asked her.
She had a small canvas bag that was quickly filling up with dried out cones. “It’s great exercise.” She laughed as she bent to the ground to pick up some cool looking green ones. “The fire is amazing. Whether it’s at home or out in the open. What’s really interesting is that the fire has stages. From its birth to its infancy as the small little flames start, to its empowered adulthood and then down to its aged embers as the fire slowly begins to die.” She added.
I was amazed at this observation as I connected it to the energy that ties everything else in life together. As that same energy took me and my friend around the hills and down to the community house we were staying at, I paid my dues to Mother Nature and her pine cones.
Then that evening as the sounds flickered and the sparkles spoke and the rest of the world closed itself from my mind, I saw again the joy of the fire on the smiles of my friends around me.
How simple, how humbling, how equalising and how mature the spirit of the fire was, I noted.
For that, I felt called to share the benefits of the fire, the pine cones, and yet again, the love of Mother Nature in this week’s blog post.
Here’s to a warming winter.
Anneka and Teresa