23 Nov 2009

"I'm a Firewalker!" update

Well, I can now officially call myself a firewalker... and I've got a certificate to prove it! :-)

The weather here had been bad all week, with torrential rain and gales, so we were all worried that the firewalk might be cancelled at the last minute. However, despite the fact that on the hour long drive to get to the venue I had to travel through very heavy rain and the occasional deeply flooded stretch of road, the Gods smiled on the event itself and held off the rain until afterwards. So the crowd of family and friends gathered outside together with random onlookers, various street performers, drummers and a Samba band didn't get wet during their almost two hour wait while we were taking part in the training for the firewalk. I hadn't been particularly worried about the firewalk itself... arrogant as it sounds I was fairly confident about walking across a 20 foot long barbeque! However, being a rather shy and solitary person I most definitely was not looking forward to walking into a room full of strangers, but everyone was so friendly and welcoming that I overcame that obstacle with no problems. The training was pretty intense but covered nothing that was new to me... I'm a Witch so I'm familiar with the idea of belief and will being able to change physical reality. By the time we came outside I think we all believed it was possible and were ready to face the challenge. This was why we'd all showed up, the reason we'd been raising money from everyone we knew and the chance to confront one of the most instinctive fears there are. After a brief pause in the radiated glow of heat from the embers for us to take off our shoes and socks we lined up and prepared to walk across the fire. Up until this point everything had gone pretty much as I'd expected, but as I lined up ready to take my turn I felt a deep peace decend on me and the noise of the crowd clapping and cheering, the drumming (which was very loud!) and the music all seemed to fade away to a great distance and suddenly the only things I was really aware of were myself and the fire. I had to concentrate to hear the group leader tell me it was my turn to walk and on my way across the fire I was only aware of the great feeling of peace, protection and support enveloping me and carrying me across on a wave of goodwill, followed by a huge feeling of achievement on reaching the other end. As far as the physical sensations go, the fire didn't feel uncomfortably hot under my feet, just pleasantly warm and vaguely soft. Then we went back inside to clean the charcoal dust off our feet, put our shoes back on and be awarded our official firewalkers' certificates. We were also each given a reusable, eco-friendly tote bag screen printed with the logo of the charity we were supporting and containing a small box of chocolates and a selection of foot care products as a thank you for taking part! :-) Leaving the building to return to the embraces and congratulations of our families and friends I still felt slightly detached, but the general party atmosphere together with something to eat had a welcome grounding effect quite quickly.

It was a truly fabulous experience, although I'm not certain it will change my life to any great extent. Most importantly, due to the generosity of my friends and work mates, the event enabled me to raise a personal total of £230 for the local branch of the Domestic Violence and Abuse Service so hopefully fewer people will have to face this unhappy situation alone. I'd like to thank everyone who donated money or sent me messages of support and I'm sure it was your good wishes that helped me get across the fire.

In hindsight, the only disappointment was the fact that the photographer due to cover the event for the local newspaper didn't arrive on time so there will be no professional photos. Many of us were relying on being able to buy pictures, but it seems that we will have to be content with just our certificates as proof that we can now call ourselves firewalkers and a record of a most memorable evening.

No comments:

Post a Comment

If you are so stunned at the breadth of my intellect that you must communicate your awe, or would like to express astonishment at the fact that anyone this talented chooses to live such a modest and retired life, please leave your comments in the box above. If you're very lucky you will be granted the privilege of seeing your words next to mine on the same page...surely enough to give anybody a warm glow of satisfaction.