Our June gathering offered opportunity to reflect on the summer solstice - the sun’s pause, and on the sun’s fire. With forest fires raging across Canada this month how are we feeling?
At this point in the year, we celebrate the sun's strength, heat, light and energy. Due to this, the season of summer is often associated with the element of fire. Fire has been on my mind a lot this month, and for many of us that felt heavy, especially when smoke filled our skies and affected our air quality earlier in the month.
Fire can be devastatingly destructive, and fire can be beneficial. Wildfires have always been a natural part of healthy forest ecosystems. In natural cycles, fire releases nutrients for the soil, opens the canopy, and cracks opens seeds of certain trees that require heat to germinate. It is only since the advent of clear cutting, fire suppression, and climate change that extreme fires have become so destructive.
As we approach the season of summer, I invite us to reflect on fire - its benefits and its harm. And as we remember how fire has destroyed vast sections of forest, I want to share these words paraphrased from 1 Corinthians 12:26 - If one part suffers, all suffer together; and if one part rejoices, all rejoice together.
We are all one body - us and the earth, the forest, the water, the air. We are all interconnected and all part of each other in a web of belonging.
Take time to pause and reflect on the impacts of the sun, fire, and light on our lives, and on the earth. Hold the paradoxes of hope and despair, of brokenness and beauty, of suffering and rejoicing. What are you seeing, feeling, hearing, thinking? What is this place sharing with you today? Where is God showing up?
Reflections, poetry, prayers, photos, and resources written by Wendy Janzen unless otherwise noted.