My first fire was intensely spiritual and private, known only to me and to the silent forest. The wisp of fir smoke, the heat, the tiny licking flame became part of my spirit. It still is. Since the days of my youth, fire has warmed me during cold winter nights of interior Alaska and during chilly desert nights in North Africa. Fire has cooked my food in the jungle of northern India and in the Himalayas of Nepal. Fire has lifted my spirit on days of seemingly endless rain and shrouding fog. As I gazed into the flames I see even today the dancing light of some ancient fire on the walls of a cave when the first humans learned to remove the darkness and its terror.
Eons of fire have molded the spirit of the land. Each fire is a reflection of the past, of the beginning, of the dawn of humanity, for it was with fire that humans began to interact purposefully with Nature’s landscape. It was with fire that humanity began to actively change the landscape to suite the needs of an evolving sense of culture.
Today, however, we must recapture our vision of fire as sacred for too often is it seen as an enemy of the common person and of society. Most people abhor a forest fire because it kills commercially valuable trees. But the fire that kills the trees was also responsible for the health of the forest in the first place—that is, until we interfere with fire as a process of creation.
Text © by Chris Maser 2010. All rights reserved.