Friday, April 10, 2009

Meditation: Contacting the Salamanders

An old woman sits before her fireplace in a velvet armchair. She is so close to the fire that her slippered feet are almost touching the hearth. But she feels the cold, and evenings by the fireside knitting are her favourite form of comfort. Her contented tabby cat sits upon the arm of the chair and purrs contentedly at the all-encompassing heat that emanates from the fireplace.

The wood spits and crackles from within the flames as the fire gently roars. The coals glint and gleam with red heat and periodically tiny sparks from the dry wood flit from the flames onto the hearth tiles. The old woman gradually knits more slowly, until finally her hands rest motionless on her lap. The soporific gentle heat has lulled her to sleep. She falls willingly into dreams, while the cat is mesmerized by the flickering flames.

As the cat watches the blaze, entranced, the flames begin to take shape and look like long golden curls and wisps belonging to raptures of fiery-coloured hair. Through the center of the flaming locks slowly emerges the mischievous face of a captivating young girl. She throws her head back and appears to be totally absorbed by her own being. She has a warm and loving feeling radiating from her. She peers out at the cat, who is mildly interested in her appearance. She blows a kiss to him and as she does so, several sparks spit from the coals onto the hearth. When the cat receives the salamander kiss his eyelids become heavy and eventually he too succumbs to the blissful warm sleep that the old lady rests in.

With no one to add more logs to the fire, it slowly dies down. The salamander’s hair becomes less ravishing as the fire diminishes to a flameless heat of hot coals, twinkling red stars into the room. The salamander rests her head on the coals and closes her eyes, preparing herself to be reborn from the ashes tomorrow.

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