Hot, crackling, snapping, burning. Fire is the sun. Fire
is in lightning. Fire is red, yellow, bright, wavering. Fire
is sparks, fireworks, bursts of light. Fire provides warmth.
Fire represents enthusiasm, passion, energy.
Under control, it provides energy. Too close it burns.
Out of control, it can become a conflagration, a wild fire.
Fire can consume. Fire is moderated by its opposite--water.
Fire is strengthened by its complement--the Earth.
To love and be loved is to find ourselves strengthened.
face life, we need a fire different from what was needed
by our primitive ancestors to survive. We and our children
need the fire of courage, of strength of will to face challenging
times. In parent-child relationships, fire represents
being decisive, bringing energy and enthusiasm into the relationship,
taking a stand, being strong. Fire represents making
an intervention that transforms the other person, making
a real difference in his or her life. A parent who sets firm
(but reasonable) rules is expressing the fireside part of
the self. Confronting a child who has committed a moral wrong
requires fire. Defending a child who is being unfairly
treated by a teacher or assaulted by a stronger and bigger
child requires energy, power. Where there is passion there
need fire too. They need to feel power and energy. Not just
in a physical way, but in their relationships too. A child
who is approached by a drug dealer who tries to sell him
drugs needs the fire of resistance. So does a teenage girl
who is being pressured to consent to having sex. A child
who rushes to the aid of another who is being attacked by
a bully needs to have sparks in her eyes. Any time a person,
adult or child, has to stand up and express principled beliefs
and act accordingly under difficult circumstances, he or
she employs the courage and strength of will nourished by fire.
course, fire has its limitations and its risks as well. We'll
take a look at the dark side of fire on page