Building and attending a fire is such good therapy. While I write during long, deep Montana winters, the fire is my companion. Sometimes stubborn as a cranky child the miniature blaze in my wood stove demands spirited urging and constant attention. I kneel down, whisper and coddle its early morning defiance. Eventually, she smiles with one corner of her mouth, and with her blanket now a boa, twirls, then leaps and is soon spinning out of control. After years of living in efficiency condos and a hurried career, I settle in close to enjoy her warm and delightful beauty, her vitality, her energy.

I’m certain these flames are somehow woven into a woman’s DNA; just like we need water, wind, and earth, we need fire. If you want a healthy woman, let her grow things and keep a fire in the hearth. She will sit and gaze (with that faraway look she had when nursing babes) into dancing flames and that is fine, just like she does when tilting her face to the sky and something mystical settles over her. She needs fire like she needs another woman to drink coffee with; like she needs her daughter, yes, her daughter on a daily basis to talk about God knows what.