Once upon a time,

driving to work in the morning,
the light caught my hair,
and a wildfire burned there.

Behind me, Paris said:
“Miss Leonie,
your hair is glowing
like a nimbus.”

My name, Leonie, means lioness.
I have a blonde mane framing a face of proud cheeks,
falling to nestle on a lion’s heart.
A Lioness is a Woman of Flaming Manes.

I am alight from a weekend
with a dear friend,
a sister, a woman
who is my astrological polar opposite.

I am alight from two sparks igniting each other,
a white wolf standing between us,
awakening from a drumming journey
to see her gazing at me,
both of us crumpled, embryonic, on the floor,
blazed through by the drum and the didge.

I am awake with our fierce journeying,
our thirst for knowing,
our dreamings and possibilities.

I am awake with the fire of sisterhood.

When I was a child,
I fought bushfires.
Our farmhouse came close to being razed a time or two.

The drill was
heavy summer days
the scent of burning grass in the air
the sight of flames
the call of neighbours
the gathering of machinery.

We would wet down great bags of hessian,
ladle large plastic tubs of water into the car.

My father and his father
would be at the forefront of the fire
and the licking fingers of flame,
playing an elaborate game of rugby with
their dozers and tractors.

The womenfolk and children
would be at the sides and rear of the fire,
putting out spot fires,
bedding down the heat.

It was something I feared and relished, all at once.
Somedays I still think I want to be a firefighter:
for the community, the tangible challenge,
the smell, the sheer physicality of spirit, body and water against earth and fire.

Fire is the kundalini,
my passion, energy, actions.
Fire is the bushfire,
my transformation, alchemy, release and rebirth.
Fire is the inspiration,
my burning possibility of all that wishes to come ablaze in this world.

All our lives are waiting to teach us.

Bright, Burning Blessings,

* More Self Portraits on the elements here
* More Turquoise Journey here