Fire from the Ashes…

Playing with fire is dangerous I was always told by my mother and grandmother and anyone else who caught me in front of a roaring fireplace, staring into the flames, entranced by the fizz and burn, warmed by the heat.

I heeded their warning.

It was my brother who pushed the logs in the grate with a poker and threw in wadded up pieces of paper to watch them catch and spark.

My youngest son showed the same propensity until he had a run in with a firework some years ago…but that’s quite  another story.

At Footlights we have a fire-pit, a rather large one at that.

Hubs tells me I pile too much wood into it…and when I stand back to admire the blaze I tend to agree.

After the flames have died down and I have watched until it is just smoldering at the bottom of the pit I go inside and leave it alone until the next time.

Sometimes I am surprised when I wander out the following morning and hover my hand over the ashes.

They always look so touchable, so deliciously soft in their powdery remains,


that I am tempted to bury my hands up to my wrists.  But I hold back when I feel the heat emanating from the cinders.

In my imagination I harvest tin foil packets of cowboy stew or baked potatoes from their fiery depths.

Last morning I stirred up the embers with a stick after a whole day and night of rain, I still had brambles and dried wood to burn and wondered if I could rekindle the fire.

Smoke began to rise and I heard my mother saying to me,

“There’s no smoke without fire.”

So I gathered the nests of vines and sticky brush and tossed them into the pit, pressing down hard in an attempt to ignite the dead wood,


Then I sat down and listened, still entranced by the fizz and crackle, enjoying the smoky smell as it drifted away from my face.

All was calm while I waited…


Just as I was beginning to think the hours of rain had done the job the whole thing went up in flames,

It burned furiously and I was glad I hadn’t been caught, by impatience, in the inferno that now rose before me.


As it died down I added more fuel and felt my face heating up.

At the end of the day when I looked in the mirror I noticed there was a glow to my cheeks.

Moses’ face had shone after he’d been in conversation with God on Mount Sinai. (Exodus 34:35)

While I am no Moses, I am a believer who knows God’s love for me smolders in my heart like the stubborn embers hidden beneath the ashes at the centre of my  fire-pit.

And sometimes His love inflames my face with a smile.

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