Heat burning, flames all around, my anger flares like a match igniting when struck. And yet, as soon as the flame is steady, the fire transforms into the heat of a powerful furnace everywhere, the very air shimmering in waves of illumination, and I see clearly once more. The fire lights my way, revealing truth and encouraging my hands to reach out, to extend my fingers toward the flames without fear because I can see that even the intensity of will, the drive to achieve, can be beautiful when the fire is tempered by the other elements.
I don't need to fear the fire within but rather open to its gifts of transformation. I reach out to stroke the salamander, calm and at rest, steam rising from its skin, the heat contained by earth, water cooling, and air lifting, al working together until the fire is needed to flare, when asked, not a brushfire out of control destroying all in its path, but the torch used to light my way, cleansing so that new life and opportunities can rise in the flame, strong and bright.
The hot flashes of menopause are an opportunity to release the heat I've held within all these years. To release the fears and anger and resentment that may have been hiding under blackened coals like embers I thought had been burnt out long ago. Were they dormant still? Flaring occasionally, unexpectedly, leaving me wondering where the anger came from?
I push away the cold coals and gray ash, poking through the long-dead fire to see if a spark remained of disappointment or hurt, of fear or guilt, of pain. I welcome the rising flow of lava that spreads throughout my body, knowing that the heat is a message of something left undone, an ember left smoldering in the ruins. Ah, there it is. See the glow?
I feed the salamander guarding the residual fire, fierce and protective, she bares her teeth when I approach, her tail anxiously sweeping the ash like a snake and her body begins to change colors, warming, heating up at my approach as she crouches, waiting. Then tears begin to fall from my eyes, hot tears of acknowledgment and release, the water droplets fall upon the ember and steam rises, the salamander twitches as the salt-water falls upon her skin, a brief sizzle before both accept the other and rise in the air, carried away, floating lightly.
Finally, the ember grows cold and as the tears continue, a tiny bit of green appears, and a stem pushes its way up through ash, vibrant, new, eager to be reborn, growing into a tall stalk, strong, with a bright red bud at the top that unfolds itself into a magnificent flower of many petals, full and luscious, the center bright yellow.
And the salamander rests at last, sleeps, at the base of the flower, her eyes closed in slumber, each inhale gives a glow of orange to her skin, and with each exhale she cools to aqua. She curls around the stem gently, lying upon the now cold crust of the lava flow. And I smile, knowing that together we can create a fire to light the way whenever we need to, without fear, with courage, clarity and passion.