Fire times Three

We stood on the edge of the land, with the Lammermuir Hills shimmering in a heat haze through the flames. The fire rose and sank, sometimes licking the sky itself, sometimes restlessly licking the bowl which held it. A cold still day was drawing its last breath, and the crows were returning wearily to the trees with their tales and visions. The bright flickering light drew us here to this spot, as fire has always done across the acres and mountains of time.

We came carrying the burdens of the year, and tended the flames, which yielded creatures of light and heat and smoke. Shapes and visions rose and fell within the bowl of fire, revealing tiny drops of wisdom, as the dead wood released the sunlight it had captured so long ago. Light which had poured from the sun long before any of us drew a breath, now warmed our skins, creating something new before our tired and thirsty eyes.

From the ashes new life rose, hungry for air and space to move. The crackling wood released salamanders and creatures of the flame, and they danced for our pleasure. All were transformed at the edge of the cauldron of fire, on the edge of the green hills, at the very edge of winter, by the flames of Bride.

See more stories in three takes at this weeks DP Challenge

About greenmackenzie

Hi, I'm Seonaid, and I share my home on the shores of Loch Ness deep in the Scottish Highlands with my husband, my son and a couple of dogs. I love art which is here now and gone food and nature...but also have a passion for vintage and the ancient past! Nature is my favourite muse, with her wild ever shifting seasons. I have been using and teaching mindfulness and relaxation for over 12 years, and have yet to become any sort of expert :-) I'm a Psychotherapist and Cancer Support Specialist in Maggies Highlands
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64 Responses to Fire times Three

  1. Mazigrace says:

    Beautiful said and photographed!

  2. poppytump says:

    Such a wonderful dangerous beauty in the fire dancing out of the cauldron … the occasion and release of emotions must have been quite something Seonaid.

  3. I love the story you built around the fire! What was the occasion for the fire, Seonaid?

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  6. Wow … look at all those comments! I am, once more, late to the party! Story of my life! This was a delight to read Seonaid. Your words released a number of visions, held deep within. I especially liked, ‘ … as the dead wood released the sunlight it had captured so long ago.’ As a biologist I understand … as one linked through so many generations to those archaic folks who came long before, I can appreciate! Your nature writing always brings me back to the realization that we are both part of and separated from her. You have a special way of doing this … but you know this already. Thanks for allowing me to taste what it must have been like long, long, ago … when folks like us were more part of the game we call ‘nature.’ D

    • David, you are never too late for my party 🙂
      Hope you’re feeling better, and thanks so much for the lovely compliments. I love the way you describe my writing, and although I hear what you, and others say, I’m not sure I ever really know what I’m doing, or if others will enjoy or understand. I simply write what I love and what’s in my head……So I’m always pleasantly surprised and delighted, thank you!

      • You’re lucky. Although writing is always enjoyable for me, it’s never very easy and almost always turns out pretty poorly … never lyrical like yours. I always spend way too much time rewriting. I suppose that’s the difference between a real writer and a biology professor. D

      • David I’m certainly not a real writer…..would love to be but am currently still pretending 🙂
        The best piece of advice I was ever given, by the creative writing teacher at the cancer centre where I work, was to find your own voice…..that voice in your head …..and allow it the freedom to fall onto the page!

  7. Deena Kakaya says:

    There is something quite cathartic about fire in fresh air, isn’t there. Beautiful pics x

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  9. lifelifedeathdeath says:

    Love these pictures!

  10. Tina Schell says:

    Lovely Seonaid – really brought the fire to life – I could just feel the crisp air as well. Your text is lyrical as always. Beautiful post.

  11. Makes me miss our wood-burning stove! Lovely.


  12. LB says:

    These photos really appeal to me … then again, I am complete firebug! I love to start them, and I used to work as a firefighter putting them out. Love this post

  13. restlessjo says:

    I have an issue with fire, Seonaid, and these were so vivid that I couldn’t bear to look after the second. Amazing work!

    • I’m so sorry to hear that Jo….it’s just as well you avoided the third shot which was a very vivid close up 🙂
      I find it exciting, but unpredictable!

    • restlessjo says:

      I was involved in a house fire when I was just a baby, Seonaid, and the memories must have lingered.

      • Gosh, that would certainly explain your discomfort. Fire under our control is our friend, giving warmth and light, but out of control and it becomes a wild hungry animal, turning on the hand which lit it…..and of course it can turn in the blink of an eye.

  14. hocuspocus13 says:

    Reblogged this on hocuspocus13.

  15. colonialist says:

    A flaming good trio!

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  17. Hanna says:

    I’ll give you 5 out of 5, Seonaid 🙂 ♡♡♡♡♡
    All the best,

  18. wildsherkin says:

    I can almost smell the woodsmoke! Your descriptive words capture it all so well and those images are so lovely. P

  19. alienorajt says:

    Reblogged this on alienorajt and commented:
    This is LOVELY!

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  21. Intriguing – that last shot is as though the flames are wrapped in cellophane.

    • It’s such a mysterious subject to shoot, as I discovered….I like a short depth of field in my images, but because the flames were my focus and kept shifting in the blink of an eye that was nearly impossible. In the end I treated it like water and tried to get the sharp focus on a more stable element like the bowl or the wood! I did very little post processing as nothing I tried really enhanced what nature had produced….pure energy 🙂

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  23. Lucid Gypsy says:

    What a thoroughly unique take on the three challenge Seonaid. The imagery is vibrant as the creatures dance on the threshold. Wonderful!

    • Thanks Gilly, it turns out its quite hard to catch shots of fire…it keeps dancing and moving…a very uncooperative subject, and yet very exciting for the same reasons!
      You’ve got to love the threshold creatures 🙂

  24. Suzanne says:

    What a wonderful ritual to take part in. I love the idea of casting the burdens of the old year into the flames. The fire photos are very well done. Somehow they made me feel I participated in some way. Thank you.

    • Suzanne that’s lovely to hear, the flames kept shifting and changing and so was hard to shoot as framing shots was nearly impossible… I’m delighted to hear you liked the results. I love the idea of taking part through the photos, wonderful, and you were very a very welcome guest 🙂

  25. Amy says:

    Beautiful post, as alway! The last fire shot is incredible.

    • Thanks Amy, its so intense when you get up close and personal with the flames….the heat was what kept me at a safe distance most of the time…but the light pulled me in closer and closer!

  26. dadirri7 says:

    all that life released to dance, your words bring us to the warmth and light 🙂

    • What a lovely poetic comment, thank you. The dancing light was so mesmerizing, full of unexpressed shapes, and the fires nature changed as time progressed….but warmth and light is what we need 🙂

      • dadirri7 says:

        yes we do, I am a Leo and always love fire, in fact I am good with fire …. I see those salamanders playing in the flames … it is my most comfortable element, yet I have never used it in the way you have shown us, something to think about thank you 🙂

  27. ♡eM says:

    Oh, how I appreciate this fiery prose and fantastic photos! Fire has such deep roots in our human culture. You have inspired me to build a little bonfire tonight. It’ll be family fun!

    • How wonderful to think that this post has inspired you 🙂
      There is something so comforting and yet exciting about fire on a very deep level. We have a fire bowl in the garden and its so beautiful…also great for toasting marshmallows….perhaps we’ll see your photos of your family fire…

      • ♡eM says:

        We lit our bonfire last night. The little love toasted a marshmallow and then proceeded to disappear into the house again. My husband and I sat and star gazed and listened to one another. I took a few photos, but how that fire dances so nimbly!

      • That sounds like a perfect evening…..I love the lingering scent of wood smoke among the stars 🙂

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