The fires which ripped through the Cape Peninsular over the last week have largely been brought under control. There is still one fire burning at Cape Point, but for the most part the drama and hysteria of the last week is over.
The cost has been significant for some. This week will long be remembered.
Comments from two friends on my last blog post (found here) have enlarged the spiritual metaphor for me. In that post I wrote: ‘It makes me wonder though if the human psyche isn’t a bit like the Cape fynbos. Maybe we need the occasional devastation to clear out the dross and to allow for new growth.’
One friend commented on her identification as she watches her life go up in flames at the moment. A second friend asked a practical question about the use of controlled fires on the Mountain. I don’t know the real world answer to that question, but it got me thinking about the spiritual metaphor. What is the spiritual/psychological equivalent of a controlled burn?
I think in my own life it is the combination of going on retreat and receiving spiritual direction. Not that either of those things is necessarily the equivalent of a fire experience. But that occasionally things get triggered which can be dealt with in a particular way in those spaces which is a bit like a controlled burn.
I have never been in therapy, but I imagine that it too can provide a similar kind of space.
Controlled fires provide the necessary environmental regeneration without the terrible threat to livelihood and property. It is a risky strategy, but in the long term probably less destructive.
Where are the spaces in your life where the necessary fire can burn without becoming a runaway disaster?