i wrapped up work early and took the nite off.
i headed outside and put up some christmas lights.
i did just say that.
and no, i didn't light them.
but i wanted a light theme for the nite and that was the start.
it was fun.
i was surprised at how fun seein' as it was the first year i did it all alone.
but it felt good.
then i went out back and hung up a star i had been saving.
it's battery operated and will light up at the same time for several hours.
i've been keeping it to hang on this particular nite.
i hung it on a tree branch where i'll be able to see it from my desk or from
my kitchen. two rooms i inhabit a lot.
i hung it there to be a light in the dark.
cool thing is that i like it just as much this morning as i look out there and see
what looks like an ice star hanging from the tree.
what a beautiful reminder of the mystery of life.
and then i headed to my little fire pit spot.
and i made a fire.
the very first fire i have ever made all on my own with no one else around.
i realized that as i was gathering the little twigs to get it started.
my first fire.
i'm growing up.
to my delight, it lit first try.
i didn't have to do it twenty times -
it just lit up like i was an ol' pro at this.
i fed it for a bit, and then settled in next to it.
it was the most beautiful fire i had ever seen.
i was curious about that.
is that because i made it, i wondered?
is it cause it's just me here?
is it cause it's not just me here and that was the whole point of the fire?
i came out to be with her memory.
i came out to spend some time honoring her life.
maybe there was more than just me there.
whatever it was, i don't recall ever seeing a more magnificent fire.
i got lost in the flames.
the beauty, the depth, the richness of them.
as i warmed my hands near it,
i thought about how the fire kept us warm, kept us alive.
and how it could also be what overwhelmed and killed.
i thought about how life can be like that.
and how lucky i was that i was never that overwhelmed that i felt i needed
to end my time here. i thought of how sad i was that she had felt that.
that she had chosen that.
i went from one end of things to another -
i felt searing pain as if something was being ripped out,
i felt overflowing gratitude as if my insides would float away on a wave
of gratefulness for just being here and being alive.
i got lost in the glow of the smallest coal, and wandered inside the twinkle
of a star so far away.
i looked at the fire pit, i gazed at the sky.
i felt like the queen of my empire, i felt like a speck of the tiniest dust
in the middle of vastness.
i listened to the noises all around me.
i don't live in the woods.
there's a lotta noises out there -
and i saw how alone i really was.
and i saw how connected we all really are.
when it was time to spread the coals around a bit and let things cool down,
i watched those coals glimmer like the most intense jewels you could ever see.
and i heard them whispering to me -
glow, terri. glow and live and light your life on fire.
i tucked that whisper into my heart.
walking back across the yard,
i looked at the star lit up in the tree -
i thought of her.
sent her love.
and headed back in for the nite.
my heart full of living, death, sadness, gratitude -
and a very special whisper.