What’s Inside –
This afternoon I burned old collected limbs which had fallen this past winter. Along with twigs and branches, there was a stack of large limbs that I cut up last year when part of a big tree was torn down by a thunderstorm. They had finally dried out enough where they would burn quickly. It didn’t take long to have a large fire burning brightly and hot! After a while, there wasn’t much left of the burn pile but red, orange, and blue scorching ashes. Before heading to the house I took a water bottle that was almost half filled with water and laid it on the hot embers. I watched as it shrunk, popped the top off and melted the places of the bottle where there wasn’t any water. However, where there was water the plastic didn’t melt. I watched as the water inside began to boil but the plastic wasn’t consumed. Because of the water inside the plastic didn’t melt outside. It was awesome to watch and wait to see how long it lasted. Finally, of course, the water evaporated and the plastic shriveled by the flames but it took longer than it should have given the power of the heat and flame.
It was a wonderful reminder that what’s inside; our spirit, emotions, mentality, don’t just protect what can’t be seen but also protects the outside, what we can see; our health, bodies, and relationships.
On Saturday afternoon I burned a pile of branches, old newspapers, and other miscellaneous items. The smell of the ashes and leftover debris lingered in the air the next day. I had forgotten to grab an old wooden rocking chair out of the reading room which also needed to be disposed of. When I noticed it Sunday afternoon I wondered if the smoldering ash would still be hot enough to do anything. I took the chair out, broke it into several pieces and put some under the coals, which were still a faint orange, and put the rest in a pile on top. I checked it after a while and noticed the smoke had increased. About an hour later the wood was ablaze with a good flame. It didn’t take long to consume it once the fire restarted. Not too long afterward the chair was gone.
I wrote last week about the struggles I have when February rolls around. Many years have passed but the layers of hurt, anger, and uncertainty still lay buried, ready to ignite when fuel is added. What I try to do, instead of dwelling on the past, is not feed the flames. When I am aware and notice my mind drifting back to the place of pain I find a place to breathe. I close my eyes and take deep breaths. I remind myself of the truth that I cannot change the past but I can be present in the now. Does it always work? No. Does it work? Yes. Maybe one day I will be healed, maybe not, but I don’t want to give up on living today because of the difficulties of yesterday.
Late this morning and early afternoon I weed whacked and push mowed around all the trees in the front yard and back. It may only be June 3rd but it was hot and the sun shone with its full glory and intensity. Our back yard has an uphill grade to it that felt much steeper as the morning turned into noon and I pushed the mower. The weed whacker seemingly gained weight as I hauled it all over the property. Finally, around mid-afternoon I finished and felt such relief putting the equipment away and then sitting on the porch, drenched in sweat, drinking water, wiping my forehead with a towel, basking in the shade of our big Oak tree. I still had a few things to do but for a moment I needed rest.
Finally, around mid-afternoon I finished and felt such relief putting the equipment away and then sitting on the porch, drenched in sweat, drinking water, wiping my forehead with a towel, basking in the shade of our big Oak tree. I still had a few things to do but for a moment I needed rest.
I like the quote (pictured) but the sun can drain us as well as “cast the shadow of our burdens behind us.” Today it was nice to find shade, shelter, rest from the blazing orb in the sky.
There are some seasons where we cast our burdens away and others when we need to stop to catch our breath, replenish our souls and be thankful the sun not only gives light but casts shade.