I’m about to go build a fire. Outside. For the first time. And I’m thirty-seven years old.
I watched a video on “How To Build A Fire” on Youtube and I’m ready now. I’m recruiting my kids to come watch. Oh, and I’m not telling my husband who happens to be working downstairs; I’ll call him out once it’s started.
At the beginning of the year in the midst of preparing for 2020 and jotting down all my hopes for the next 12 months, a funny idea popped into my head- it’s time I learn to build a fire by myself.
Where did that thought come from?
Instead of laughing it off and writing out more reasonable goals, I noted how my wild self was attempting to poke her head up, reminding me not to forget about her in all my ambitious adult plans.
We all have a wild self, but we’re afraid to get to know her because frankly we’re not sure how to manage her.
Do we listen to her obscure nudges? Do we heed her impractical advice? Do we link arms with her unruly spirit? Do we join her in bucking the system, shaking off the weighty rules? Do we let her make a bit of a mess of our lives? Do we trust her spontaneous ideas?
If you ask me, I think the answer is yes, a hundred times yes.
But it’s not that easy is it?
We like to keep our hands clean, our hearts safe, and our life contained. A decision to grow wild equates to exactly the opposite.
Who then, given the choice between the two, would choose wild?
I hope it’s us.
From our current vantage point, we cannot begin to imagine the surprises the wild life holds.
If we’re honest, we move mainly within our predictable patterns, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I savor my routines and appreciate the sanity they give me every day.
But aren’t you curious about what lies beyond the norm, the usual, the expected, the acceptable?
I know I am.
And it’s why I’ve been stuck on seeing life as an adventure for the last ten years.
Toeing the line and breaking out of the tight parameters we’ve set up within our soul is scary to be sure, but the surprises are always worth the risk.
Perhaps the most unexpected surprise about growing this wild life is the way my conditional love can’t survive out here under the open sky. My rules blow up and any legalism trapped within my bones is laid waste.
Start to befriend the wild spaces and say yes to her wooing, and it won’t be long before your desire to keep up the status quo will quickly fade.
I left my house with my jacket, hat, boots, and a lighter. I gathered dry wood and tinder and hoped for hot, bright orange, dancing flames. I arranged the logs like the video showed me and lit the tiny twigs and paper on fire, then waited and watched, smiling with anticipation.
I came back in later that night smelling of adventure and smoke, swelling with inspiration and courage, feeling closer to the earth and the elements and the essence of who I was meant to be as a human being.
Our wild side is waiting for us to step out the front door and throw some kindling on her waning fire. She’s dying for us to see the dangers of our cold, stiff, stuffy lives.
She watches for the willing ones who are ready to sneak out and dance beside her sweltering flames, desiring a life, and more importantly, a Love, that blows past their secure brick walls.