Words of WonderFire-Judy-Brown

What makes a fire burn
is space between the logs,
a breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
too many logs
packed in too tight
can douse the flames
almost as surely
as a pail of water would.

So building fires
requires attention
to the spaces in between,
as much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
open spaces
in the same way
we have learned
to pile on the logs,
then we can come to see how
it is fuel, and absence of fuel
together, that make fire possible.

We only need lay a log
lightly from time to time.

A fire grows
simply because the space is there,
with openings
in which the flame
that knows just how it wants to burn
can find its way.

by Judy Brown


A clear call, in this poem by educator, speaker, facilitator, poet and writer Judy Brown, for making sure there’s enough breathing spaces in the fire that is your life. I especially like the trust and confidence that speaks in the last few lines: ‘the flame that knows just how it wants to burn’. But it does need space to find its way. Good to remember in a culture where ‘more’ seems to mean the same as ‘better’!

So let’s pause to create space, and remember to rest…



PS If you’d like to (re-)start your mindfulness journey because you’ve realised there are too many logs on your fire and you feel stressed, join the Mindfulness for Stress weekend either online or in Samye Ling to explore how to create more space and ease in your life…

Photo by Obed Hernández on Unsplash