Love is friendship that has caught fire. It is quiet understanding, mutual confidence, sharing and forgiving. It is loyalty through good and bad times. It settles for less than perfection and makes allowances for human weaknesses.  Ann Landers

Over the years I’ve had a few dreams about fire.  Sometimes I see the licking flames in sharp detail and other times something is burning more in the distance.  A couple times there was a more scary explosion or almost explosion (usually when I’m mad about something – ha).  I’ve also connected dreaming about fire to major transition points in my life, such as moving or when I started dating my husband!

Fire in a controlled sense denotes security.  It is always needing to be fed or stoked and invites interaction – it is alive.  Every year when my family goes to Tofino we enjoy fires on the beach – sometimes playing music as well.  Also, I grew up by the ocean where many summer evenings were spent roasting hotdogs and marshmallows.  The flickering flames and burning logs create continuously changing shapes and shadows which stir the imagination. There is a sense of total darkness beyond the fire which brings us closer together.  Conversations happen which we would not have had in daylight. In this way fire strengthens bonds between us.

Fire can obviously be very destructive but without the total annihilation that fire provides, new growth or change might not be possible.  Fire fixes nitrogen in the soil meaning green things thrive on it.  The internet says: “most forest trees need to be exposed to fire every 50 to 100 years to invigorate new growth”.  I think this is why fire is also a symbol for creativity and also change.

Fire connects us to our most basic human nature, causing us to reflect on life’s mysteries.  When we feel most alive we talk about “feeling stoked” or of having a “burning passion” for something.  Attending to our own inner fire draws others to us and in turn lights fires in others.

Image above:  Beach Fire I, acrylic on canvas, 8″ x 10″