The sun is furtive now, dipping in and out of treetops, never staying in one place very long. He still warms the day somewhat but not too much, and he travels at a different angle. He stays one step ahead of us now, saying, “Catch me if you can!”
But you must never chase him, or he will lead you into a game that lasts forever, a game that far too many people play, a game that far too many people lose. This is why the southern areas of the country and those places nearest the equator have so many people. They are all chasing the sun. They all live for the brilliance and warmth he haphazardly doles out to them, and because of this, they have not learned the magic. As they chase him, mesmerized by the warmth, they fall further and further into the game, and eventually they can’t get out. They know no other way.
|Long out of use, this fire pit has been restored to its rightful place.|
That’s why the northern areas of the country and the world are so sparsely populated. Most people have run off chasing the sun. Those who run off know nothing of the secret of those who stay behind in the cold and the darkness. But it’s an age-old and simple secret: Like attracts like. If you want warmth, give it. If you seek light, first create it. This is the lesson of fire, and this lesson brought man out of the caves so he could conquer the world. This lesson gave man the sun when there was no sun.
Whether it be an outdoor fire, a fireplace or woodstove, or a simple candle--just one candle--the magic of fire kindles hope and strength in the northern people that those in the south will never ever dream of, so busy they are chasing the sun. We, instead, create our own light and warmth, and that in turn creates a kind of know-how and confidence in our hearts. We don’t have to wait for the warmth of the sun. We can make our own. We have a small piece of the magic.
Eventually, the sun will come back with his tail between his legs, looking like a forlorn puppy dog and begging for attention. We pretend not to have noticed his absence and invite him to come and sit by the fire, yet so glad we are that this wayward child has returned. For our hospitality, he richly rewards us when the tides of the seasons change. He remembers that we kept vigil for him in those dark and lonely days when he was small and belligerent and lost, and for that he gives us paradise in the summer.
But you cannot chase paradise. You must give it a seat at the fire and allow it to manifest on its own. Otherwise, you run forever.