the truth in the flame

To keep a fire going
One must provide it enough fuel.
Not so little that the flame starves in hunger,
Not so much that the flame smothers for lack of breath.
The fire reaches out when it knows its death is at hand
To overtake, to conquer, to consume
Outside of its preordained limits of sanctuary
Not to mindlessly destroy,
But to continue to live on in the dark and cold.
The fire speaks to us in the deep shadows of night
It is inherently cruel.
It burns.
It kills.
It can snowball into a deadly inferno from one tiny spark.
But it is at its feet we gather
When the temperatures drop
For we cannot resist its beauty,
Its warmth,
Its comfort,
Its assurance that everything is going to be alright.
A piece of the sun dropped to the ground
A tiny reminder of just how close we are,
every moment that we live,
From freezing to death.

NEL 1/25/07