by Judy Brown
What makes a fire burn is the 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 see how it is fuel, and the absence of fuel together
that makes fire possible.

We need only to 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.

Perhaps like many of you, I celebrate the solstice on 21 December, it is part of the overall Christmas experience for me, bringing together both my Celtic roots and the Christian tradition I was brought up in.  In recent years, the place I’ve celebrated the Solstice is Nano Nagle Birthplace a beautiful place close to my home and my heart. 

This year, there won’t be a public solstice celebration, at least not at Nano Nagle Birthplace, so I’m resharing this poem from a couple of years ago that I read at the 2018 celebrations.   I’m doing so, partly because it still resonates and, also, because it’s a link with a pre-Covid time.  Like many of you, I’m recognising anew what’s important and what I value in my life.  Solstice celebrations, ritual, ceremony and outdoor fires are some of those things!   

Now back to our poem!

2020 was a crazy year for all of us, as we adapted to the changes required in response to Covid and keeping each other safe.  Whatever our individual circumstances, it often felt like things were being ‘packed too tight’.  And whether it was working from home, restricted movement; loss of a job, a business, or a sense of identify, many flames were doused in the process. 

So, as we come to the solstice moment on 21 December, the shortest day of the year, we can take the opportunity to let go of all that no longer serves us from 2020. 

Take a moment to reflect now.  What do you want to release from 2020?  What old habits are you willing to relinquish?  What limiting beliefs are you willing to swop for more empowering ones?  What people or places are you willing to loosen the bonds with? 

Part of creating a great year going forward is finishing our last year well! 

So take a moment also to pause and reflect on all that you learned in 2020, all that you’re grateful for.  Despite everything, how has 2020 served you and what were the seeds of opportunity that were present even in the adversities you experienced?   

Partly why the winter solstice is so special, in my opinion, is that in the darkest moment, the shortest day of the year, we celebrate too the light that is coming.  We fully trust that the days are about to lengthen and the light is returning. 

From that place of trust and knowing, what is it that you want to make space for in your life in 2021 and beyond?  What new experiences do you want to have and what new outcomes do you want to create? 

A part of you really does know the answers to those questions!  A part of you, already connected with the light within you, already knows how it wants to burn! 

So this solstice, and this festive season, give yourself the gift of space.  Choose to create the openings in which the fire in you ‘can find its way’ and support you in living the life you love in 2021.

Wishing you and yours all the blessings of the festive season and trusting our paths will continue to cross in 2021

To your best life

Maeve x

PS – if you would love some support to fan the flames of your dream for your best life, why not join me for the Online Vision Workshop on 30 Jan 2021, where you will find the information and inspiration to trust and work with that spark in you that is yearning to create the life you would most love.  Details and bookings here on Eventbrite.

PPS – you might like to consider the Online Vision Workshop as a gift for a friend or loved one!  It’s a gift that can continue to give throughout the year as the ideas, tools and strategies are embraced and implemented…

​If you’ve arrived at my website for the first time, you can sign up here to be the first to receive new blogs and details of my programmes.

Photo by Timon Wanner on Unsplash

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