After being in the presence of a living, conversing divine being whose words and presence have touched and changed us, how do we share the experience with others?
Many of us who have attended Fire Speaks have the same reaction: the world needs to hear more from Grandfather Fire! And yet, how do we go about inviting our friends to this mysterious event that has the potential not only to blow their minds, but also to open their hearts to the possibility that the world around us actually is living, breathing, sacred and filled with vision and meaning?
Perhaps the best way to invite friends or loved ones to this extraordinary event is to share our stories of how we have been moved by being in Grandfather’s presence. Here are some stories we’ve collected from a few people who have attended Fire Speaks—some many times and some just once—that convey the impact on their lives of an in-person audience with Grandfather Fire, that timeless supporter and advisor of human beings throughout the world and across the ages.
— Heather Poole, Asheville, NC, USAI I recently attended a Sacred Fire Community event in New Freedom, Pennsylvania (USA) where Grandfather Fire shared an ancient sacred story of Corn that applies directly to our times and our lives today.
I learned many things from that story. Because the story has just been planted in me, it’s like a kernel in the soil, germinating and growing. Most of my learning is not quite ready to emerge, but one thing that affected me strongly then and still brings emotions of grief and awe rising up in me right now is this:
What does it mean to sacrifice my short-term motivations so that I can build a good life for the people?
To plant something now that will only come to fruition in the future takes not only vision, but also patience and self-sacrifice. I can catch a fish or collect some cress that appeared this week by the creekside and have food for today, but if I join with my now-settled community, work out our differences as people who live together must do, and cultivate the fields, not only I, but also my family and my community will be nourished for this season and future seasons. The renewing nature of Corn, and its dependency on human communities in order to grow, is striking.
It is a fact that Corn needs human beings to grow. There is no way for it to come to fruition without our concern and care. Could it also be true that, without Corn and its teachings of self-sacrifice for the good of all, human beings will cease our own ability to grow?
As I continue to engage with the Sacred Fire Community as a fire-goer and volunteer, I feel myself, sometimes kicking and screaming, becoming humbler. I can feel the medicine of Corn and settled community working my soil. I stand out less. I work more, doing things that aren’t all about me…in fact, often they don’t seem to be about me at all.
Somehow I’m changing, becoming the opposite of a super-star in my own life. Somehow I’m being cultivated by something larger than I am. And I’m grateful, nourished and in love with this way of living. Now that I’ve been introduced to Her in a new way through the sacred story, I thank the Corn Mother for Her help and lessons, which are changing my life. I start each day in hope that She will render me and my efforts beneficial, perhaps even nourishing, to those around me, giving me the satisfaction of a life lived very well.
— Erin Everett, Asheville, NC, USA
Once gathered in Mexico, our group was gifted an evening of wisdom teachings by Grandfather Fire. I dared to ask for advice: “I need perspective about a crisis we are living in Puerto Rico. Since the hurricane, we are seeing an exodus of thousands of families, as well as an economic siege. Our political leaders are taking advantage of the crisis to cut pensions, close schools and dismantle our unions, cultural organizations and even our public university. They are using repression, violence and other methods of extreme capitalism.” I started to cry. OMG. Had I gone too far with my words? Was this an appropriate place to ask a sociological question?
I was thankful to receive that answer because the future of my adopted country looks painfully hopeless. Grandfather’s words helped me to see I must nourish my vision that another Puerto Rico is possible, and that now, as an educator and as a leader, it’s clearly my job to keep on co-creating – without being distracted by the bad news – the transformed Borikén we will thrive in.
— María Benedetti, Puerto Rico
María Benedetti is an ethnobotanical author and educator living since 1989 in her mother’s family’s homeland, Puerto Rico. She can be contacted through her website, www.botanicultura.com.