You couldn’t say “ashes to ashes” if there wasn’t a fire


“I think fire is ugly. It’s destructive and I hate the look of it.”

Fire is ugly. It’s horrifying and frighteningly powerful.  I would know, it almost destroyed my whole street. In the end, it just took our beloved field a the top of our little hill, our childhood sanctuary. But without death, there would be no life.

The thing about fire, is that it always creates life. About a year after the fire, we went up to the field and it was explosive with life. Sure, when it hits, it hits hard. Fire is relentless, wild. Fire is the ultimate rock and roll band: in your face, don’t-you-dare-ignore-me, horribly, terrifyingly beautiful, and always leaves a glittery path of destruction visible from Mars and a knee-high boot string’s length worth of broken hearts.

Fire is way more than just a flame. Thinking it’s not is as shallow as thinking that Johnny Depp has always been Jack Sparrow. (hahaha. I just made you say “Captain. Captain Jack Sparrow” in a swashbuckling accent.) Fire is a living, breathing, snarling beast. We all have fire inside of us that makes us go. It motivates us, drives us. My coach’s favorite saying when talking to an angry player is “Let it light a fire under your butt.” (There’s no swearing on the field.) It’s the fire inside of us (or under our butt) that makes us want just one more grounder, just one more lap, just one more free throw, just one more.

Ever heard the saying “it lights a fire in your stomach”? Well ‘it’ isn’t always alcohol. ‘It’ can be love, hate, fear, anger, passion, frustration, sorrow, pain, or any other  raging emotion that places high on the scale of blood-boiling feelings. Even figuratively speaking, fire can still hurt us. If we let it, that fire inside of us will roast us; give us third degree burns on our heart. That’s why we hurt. Every time we feel sad, depressed, heartbroken, let down; it’s just the fire reminding us that it’s there. However, if we let it, it’ll consume us and scorch us until we are reduced to the very thing that we were created from: stardust. Ashes to ashes, right? Yeah, eventually. But giving in to our own fire speeds the process way up. When we give in to that fire, we are letting the very thing that has the potential to make us break us.

A dead Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) on fire

This Sequoia relies on fires to release the seeds locked inside their cones.

Moral of the story: fire can burn and will burn, but if whether or not we let that stop us is another thing. If you buckle down and fight the fire into submission, I personally promise new life from the ashes of the old. I’ve seen it first hand.

Don’t forget the glitter. iamtheseventies.

(featured photo by ABC of Australia up in flames this past year.)


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