Lighting a fire runs a substantial risk.
You can’t always control it.
You may persuade yourself it’s safe, but it only takes a moment for it to rage out of control.
I used to live on the edge of the New Forest in Hampshire – an incredible area of both planation forestry and unplanned wilderness. Every now and again there are ‘controlled’ burnings to clear away the gorse and make way for new growth. But sometimes, if the wind blows the wrong way, or if something goes wrong, what had been planned as controlled could quickly become uncontrollable, devastating vast areas.
And when it does that it has potential to destroy both that which we consider good, as well as that which we consider bad.
What we consider good or bad – as if we always know the difference.
The smallest spark turning into a raging inferno…
Even the smallest light sweeps away darkness…
But in darkness we can hide those things that we’d rather others didn’t know about. Darkness can be comforting. Darkness can be a place we become reluctant to leave.
What we love to cling onto may actually be pretty harmful to us. Maybe it needs to be burnt away along with the ‘bad’.
Those thoughts we have about ourselves that have comforted us, and yet in some way have held us from our true potential.
Those ideas which have come to define us, those things which we have become dependent on. Beliefs, actions, words, dreams, visions.
The fire we light by beginning to hope is not in our control. It will burn where it wants to, it will consume and destroy.
And yet it will prepare the ground for new growth. A necessary evil.
Destruction prefiguring new life.
Should we continue on this journey we don’t know what will happen. We’re often promised certainty – but here there is none.
Other than love and hope, of course. Maybe, however, that isn’t always as comforting as we’d want it to be.
Disruption after all is a necessary, but painful, process. Our world is turned upside down, realigned.
This is what we embrace. We can’t control it. Don’t even try. Allow it to burn where it will.
New life will come – not always straight away, but it will come.