Firemaking: 10 Useful Life Lessons

firemaking as nature connection
10 Life Lessons from Fire Making

1. Attention and space

Fire making is like raising a child: you want to be attentive with a fire, watch it, read its needs, respond. However, in order to grow, a fire requires space – don’t suffocate it. Give it attention (Has it got shelter, oxygen, fuel?) , time and space to grow.

2. Constancy

Like any relationship, in particular the one we have with ourselves, firemaking requires constant work. Committing ourselves again and again, feeding it the good stuff, asking what it might need right at that very moment, understanding how it works and what is needed at what time. Making fire is like selfcare – it takes constant reflection, adjustment and care.

3. Patience

Rushing is no use. Trust the process and take it slow. Give it time and it will surprise you when it works out. Keep being patient with yourself. How about that as a life lesson?

4. Stick At It!

You might have your fire lit – oh joy. However, What about keeping it alight, for it to warm you, for you to be able to cook over it? 

Just like love – it’s easy to fall in love. However keeping that love alive – thats hard work sometimes! 

Figure out what’s needed to keep the fire going. Is it fuel that it needs? Some extra attention or oxygen? Don’t be scared of it. Doing or not doing things out of fear, won’t help the fire. Get to know it, love it, and stick at it!

Speaking of love, the fire also has a heart. A core. A centre. Respect it, keep it centred, keep looking after the heart!

5. Resilience

You lit your fire, but you took its breath away, suffocated it by putting too much wood on too quickly. Or you didn’t put enough wood on, so it went out again?

Pick everything apart and start again. Right from the start. You can do it. Pick yourself up, shake it all out and go again! There is no better teacher than being out in nature, and lighting a fire.

6. Breathe

You feel burnt out, just like your fire? There is still a glimmer of hope and some smoke? – then that means there is still life!

And sometimes some deep breathing can fix that. Apply your long and controlled yoga breathing and gently – not too hard – breathe life back into the fire. Breath, oxygen and controlled action can change anything! Just Breathe!

7. Don’t Compare Yourself

On the WanderWomen firemaking workshops there is a good amount of comparing that goes on. Sometimes we can’t help it. But it’s not worth it! Focus on yourself. You’ve got all the magic. Keep working away at your own fire, your own process – the issues you are presented with are not the same the others are dealing with. Your path is yours to walk. Your fire is yours to make. Stick with it and you will be suprised. The hard work will pay off! And you will be so proud of yourself for doing it your way!

8. Stay Humble

A spark might not seem threatening, but a fire can grow quicker than you think, particularly when outside and dealing with the elements of wind and weather. Keep an eye on it, be vigilant, Stay humble. Things can change and escalate really quickly. Enjoy this moment. Dont take it for granted.

9. Unpredicability

Making fire once doesnt mean it will work just like that the next time. Weather changes, humidity makes it hard, just like in life – every day is different. Some days are hard, others a breeze. Stick at it and look at how everything is connected and mirrored back at you.

10. Use What You Already Have

Fire-making can be very sophisticated. You can buy fancy fire lighters, the most beautiful logs, and light it with the best kind of match sticks. There is a market for everything.

When making fire in the wild, you want to have some basics on you to get the fire lit. A basic fire flint will do, as well as cotton wool, some dry paper, old tissues, wrappers. Check your pockets.  For the fire itself, look around you – some dried grasses, in autumn you can even use the seed of the weed called fireweed to start a fire, forage for dry driftwood when you are on the beach, find fallen branches if you are near woods. 

In life too, we can think we need to buy the best, only then can we fulfil a persuit. Most of the time you can blame advertising for that kind of thinking. Most of the time, you have all you need already. Some creative thinking always helps!

If you are keen to learn more about Firelighting, check out the Light My Fire experiences. If you simply want to enjoy sitting in circle around a fire, then most of the other WanderWomen experiences will be just for you, too! See you soon!

If you would like to buy your own Fire Flint, we recommend outdoor shop Craigdon Mountain Sports Edinburgh

Also, a beautiful poem by Judy Brown “Fire”, about giving it time and space to breathe, can be found here.

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