It’s officially fall. For some fall represents major sporting events like football season or playoffs for Major League Baseball, the start of a new season for NBA fans. For others fall means that school is starting to become “normal”. While these things are nice, the thing that I love about fall is the simple bonfire. Maybe it’s the natural community that tends to come with a bonfire, I suppose it could even be something slightly more primal. Whatever the case, there is just something about bonfires.
I suppose it could be the simplistic beauty of it all. Wood, oxygen, and a flame, add friends, food, and a hint of community and it usually turns into a good time. Obviously there are times when it’s not, but that can be true of most things in life. What’s interesting about it though is that the same basic fire lives in us. When we look at the life that we live there is usually some source of fuel or structure to our lives, similar to the wood needed for a fire. If our jobs, school, or whatever becomes too overwhelming the fire goes out. If there isn’t enough structure the fire doesn’t catch on. If it isn’t solid enough it will burn quickly and just be a temporary source.
There are also things in our lives that our like the oxygen we need. The love and support we receive from friends and family help to nurture the flames. But if we rely to much on others then sometimes they blow out our flames. And if there is no refreshing air help fan the flames then usually it is harder for our fire to ignite in the first place. But the thing that usually is the trickiest part is finding a good spark. That thing inside of us that we’re SO passionate about. Maybe there are a few things. Yet it’s finding that spark at just the right time that makes fire so amazing. Something simple can immediately start a blaze that quickly can spread and spread. In the same way when people find a fire and a true inner motivation to do certain things, the idea can spread. Yet usually people are afraid of their fire. They’re afraid that if they show others the flame burning deep within them that the other people will just blow out their fire. They’re afraid that if they apply structure to their ideas that it will overwhelm or not be enough.
Yet it is only when we open ourselves to the opportunity that the spark can combine the necessary elements together to form something bigger. In the same way it is only when we trust those around us, trust structure in our lives, and trust in our inner flame that we can truly make a difference. Be aware though that fires can burn out of control, so be sure to manage the fire. Contain it so that it is a force for change, a powerful agent of warmth and community, a source of inspiration and motivation, not one of destruction and hatred. So as this fall brings change, remember the simple things in life can be some of the most powerful moments of all. Whether it’s just being there for someone else, or helping to provide structure and support for others, whether it is sparking a fire in yourself or others, whatever it might be, allow yourself to find the fire within.