Through The Fire — An Induction Walk To Remember
A Walk To Remember
When I went on my induction walk yesterday, I didn’t anticipate walking through fire. It was an awesome sight that my almost three-year-old pointer-mix Samantha and I did not anticipate.
At first I noticed the smell of wood-burning smoke as we stepped onto the trail. The scent of burning wood made me feel sentimental because I grew up with a father who burns dead branches for barbeques. Then, as we headed north on the trail, parallel to LaGrange Road, I saw smoke stacks of varying shades of gray and orange spread out in the distance, black ashes flying at us. It was like we were walking next to a volcano.
High overhead the sun blazed bright red and white like an ominous eye through a large cloud of orange. I couldn’t help thinking of images in popular culture that illustrate the end of the world with these elements, but I wasn’t scared I was excited by this atmosphere. A little disappointed that I couldn’t entice any of the moms a part of the Tinley Park Moms Facebook community to join me, this scene in the Orland Grasslands Trail was making this afternoon exciting.
What Is A Prescribed Burn?
This of course was no accidental forest fire, this was a prescribed burn spanning close to 500 acres, from 167th to Farm Road Trail (roughly where 175th lies). This is something the Forest Preserve District of Cook County does from time to time.
A prescribed burn is done to restore health by burning off invasive plant life like shrubs and sapling trees. I learned that callery pear is particularly a problem tree. After the burn is done, native wildflowers and grasses proliferate and wildlife will thrive. The metaphorical implications were not lost on me.
Check out this special Instagram post from my induction walk: https://www.instagram.com/p/BgXR9p2nPXv/
Spring is a time of renewal, so the timing for the prescribed burn makes perfect sense. Taking place so close to my due date, I thought of all these parallels between fire and what I’m going through. Let me try to simplyify what came to mind.
Fire is used to create and shape tools.
Pregnancy is the process of creating new life, and you’re body temperature get’s pretty warm too.
Fire is used to celebrate the changing of seasons in several cultures such as the Native American culture.
The spring equinox is just a few short days away, and so is the birth of our child which will create a huge change in our lives.
While fire can be used for desctructive purposes and can be a symbol of negative things like anger, as with the Orland Grassland’s prescribed burn we see that fire can also symbolize and be used for positive things, such as purification, cleansing, and renewal.
Pregnancy can be bring about a sense of clarity, depending on your circumstances of course.
Each Woman’s Pregnancy Is Unique To Her
Maybe it’s the timing that made this walk and the fire reflective for me—both the beginning of spring and the birth of my first child days away. Maybe it’s me trying to make some connection to what I read about babies born in March being deficient in the elements of wood and water since Chinese New Year was just last month. Or maybe it’s because I’m half dreamer and don’t rule out the idea of the universe or a higher power showing you signs through nature. It could be all those things, but I think the most likely reason is because I felt like this fire was a perfect metaphor for what my pregnancy did for me.
Side note: For you astrology buffs out there, I also learned that on March 17th Mars will enter Capricorn (I’m not really sure what that means), but there’s a lot of use of the words fiery and fire when it’s talked about.
MARS ENTERS CAPRICORN: MARCH 17
“When Mars enters Capricorn, it can bring some fiery momentum with it. Focus on projects and ideas as this energy can move things forward in a big way. Make lists and plans and stick to them, this is a time to get things done. Act strategically and in your best interest. This isn’t a time for putting your energy where it isn’t served. Focus on your own growth and projects. Planning for the future is very powerful under this aspect as Mars fire feeds action to Capricorn who helps us to get things in order for what we want to flourish down the road. Focus on the long term and don’t get stuck in the current situation. Things are shifting in every second so concentrate on what will be not where things are.”C. Ara Campbell March 17, 2018 Instagram Post
I know I’m playing with fire with this metaphor stuff, but hang with me. They say becoming a mother helps you focus on what’s important in life, that all these things you used to worry about fall away and you become more your true and best self. How does that happen? Some of it is conscious. You’re nesting and prepping everything in your life to accomodate this new life, so naturally you are focused on priortizing and eliminating unneccesaries. But there’s something else at work. As your body is changing, to create and nurture this life, it is changing you in all these ways you’re not conscious of because of natural biology. You’re losing gray matter, so your head is a little less sharp. Your hormones make you a little more vulnerable. You feel like you’re losing control at times, losing your looks, losing parts of the you and life you’ve grown used to…and at the end of this nine-month marathon what are we left with? A new life… a new chapter…just like the prairie after the fire…
— Stephanie (@stephpyrzynski) March 16, 2018
Life is a series of fires and we all walk through fires at different points in our lives—life is not easy afterall—but if there’s anything that the past nine months have taught it is how we handle the fires that matters. Some things come back to us, like an old kids show we grew up watching like the Muppet Babies. My little girl won’t have Toys ‘R Us (as we learned this week is closing nation wide), like I did growing up, but she’ll have the Muppet Babies which is being rebooted. As in our human society so in nature, things come and go, but one thing stays the same: change. This walk was my way of saying goodbye to some things, good and bad, it was a kind of rite of passage to prove that I have become stronger, and finally it was a reminder of what I’ve been through and that I’ll keep walking through fires, but I don’t have to be consumed by them.