Fire and Air…

…a Stream of Consciousness Musing or embracing my inner woo because what the hell else am I going to do to procrastinate during #Covid #lockdown and I need to get this out

The past two weeks have been sheer and utter hell. Not because I’ve had sheer and utter hell happen to me but because two people I love very much are living their own nightmares. One friend nearly lost her son on Easter weekend to a fungal lung infection and he still remains critical in hospital with a long arduous recovery ahead. Another dear friend had to euthanize her beloved first dog due to resistant aspiration pneumonia. For some reason, God, the Universe, Gaia, insert your preferred name here, thought it a good idea that I would be witness to their breathless agony. I hope I’m not letting them down though I’m at a loss for words in the face of their pain and all I can do is hold space at a socially responsible distance when all I want to do is wrap them both in hugs, cook for them, and tuck them in warm blankets.

Never in a million years did I think the breath of life would be so real for each of us. Each day the news brings us more news – some happy, most sad, and some inspiring. But all of it has to do with air. This wretched disease is robbing so many of breath, but as we are all locked down, the earth is starting to breathe again. I can smell it in the air with the lack of exhaust fumes. The sky where I live is bright blue again and not hazy. I feel like I can breathe again when so many can’t.

My workplace is full of fire. We are an “essential” distributor so we have a skeleton staff at the office with many of us trying to work from home. I went in yesterday for my weekly paperwork catch-up. People are stressed, resentful, angry, and they’re taking it out on those closest to them. We need to step back from the fire and try to breathe. Find our compassion and patience. We need to meet fire with compassion, not fueling air.

In five days, we have the Celtic festival of Beltane – a fire festival that celebrates the very essence of life with bonfires, maypoles, dancing, music, and yes even sex in some circles as it honors the union of the God and Goddess. The very fire of life and the emotion that we use to manifest – desire. It’s the time of the year to burn bright and create our dreams, and yet we’re all isolated with only a screen for human connection if we’re privileged enough to have unlimited WiFi and a working technology. Some aren’t and we need to remember that.

Beltane is a spring festival and I’m all about the spring/summer goddesses – Aine, Brigit, Persephone, Freya. I also have a thing about mythology. My name is borrowed from Aine because Persephone would have been too long on a cover. Look up Aine, she’s pretty interesting and has been called the goddess of midsummer, Queen of the Fae (I think a reread of Shakespeare is in order to pass the time). All these goddesses bring life to the earth and embody the power or powerlessness of all that it is to be female. History and current times are littered with examples of society trying to control the very essence of the feminine – they’re afraid of our fire and desires.

Years ago, someone did my astrological chart and said I am all fire and air – a near 50-50 split which means I like to be free, creative and in motion. That I need to move physically and metaphorically to be able to think and create. They weren’t wrong. I struggle every day to pull together words or to even see words. And yet the very thing I need, I can’t do. I can’t go to my favourite ravine to walk (accesses blocked) and meditate. I can’t breathe outdoors without a barrier (masks mandated). We are closed in, confined to four walls and a screen, a literal time-out for a petulant race.

This Beltane, I may have to pull out a fire-proof dish, print this out, and set this on fire from a socially acceptable distance in the outdoors away from the neighbours, and watch fire create air. Maybe it’s time we burn it all down and embrace what it really means to balance the feminine and the masculine. To actually live a life of balance and in communion with the very earth that sustains us.

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