If the ground had frozen by now, stacking the monstrous load of firewood would be easier. Instead, the mud clings to ridged boots and the wheel of the barrow. The cold doesn't stop the trickles of sweat running into eyes. Gloves keep fingers warm and splinter-free. The logs are dry and seasoned, ready for the stove, where the crackle and popping will send a nervous dog up to her bed. The warmth of the fire will fill the house, first the lower level, slowly creeping up stairs and into the corners and cozies and nooks. Wood-smoke puffs out of the chimney, swirling and rising into the sky, into the blackness, into the night, taking with it our prayers and wishes. The Universe will grasp these wispy tendrils of requests, and answers will come.
Fire on a cold, late-autumn night does more than warm the bones and cheer the room. Fire is a sender and receiver of spells and dreams, hopes and ideas. Gather intention and release it in fire. Then watch the flames. What will you see?