My new home sports an old model Jotul woodstove. The warmth emanated by this cast iron jewel spreads like coconut oil on toast. It soaks into my living space, saturating it with an embracing, gentle heat.
I usually build a pre-dawn fire. Some days I ignite the kindling to cut the nip in the morning air so as to more comfortably enjoy a cup of locally mixed “immuni-tea”. Other times simply to nurture Ruby (my faithful cat), who loves to settle herself under the stove and absorb its heat.
We build numerous fires in our lives. We spark projects and relationships that we coax to life and feed with our attention, our choices, our feelings and our actions. These are our external fires.
The Heart also blazes. It flames with sacred aims and exquisite qualities. But perhaps most importantly in relation to our outer fires it is alight with Motive. When an outer fire (project/relationship) is burning out of control or faltering or smoldering with pain, then a fit and powerful action is to commune with the inner fire. Meditation, prayer, and song (among others) are tried and true ways to sit with the heart, as if with a friend. and to question; “What is my Heart’s Motive?’ And then looking at the outer fire to consider “Why am I building this outer fire? Is it burning with Heart Motive at its core?”
Like the faithful Jotul woodstove, the Heart fires can be trusted to emanate heat and warmth that fortifies. Heat and warmth that strengthens courage for necessary “letting go’s” – addictions, ignorance, self-limitations. Heat and warmth that stirs devotion to building outer fires that burn clear and bright with the Heart’s Motive.
What fires are you building and tending in your life? What Motive burns bright in your Heart?