I usually rise just before 4am, carry out my morning routine, and am on my way to work by 5am and in the factory by 5.20am. I am not much of a sleeper, a habit I picked up from my mother as well as a life pretty much lived as a Spartan. Usually my drive is dark and silent, surrounded by sugarcane fields and farms. At the moment however it is burning season, so I now pass these glowing, flickering, crackling tableaux of ochre, red and orange out in the black of the cane fields. Smoke rising up into the midnight of the sky carrying with it sparks like fireflies, you feel like you are at the end of the world. These are controlled burns and the farmers do this to burn away the vegetation surrounding the sugarcane stalks, leaving them bare and easily accessible for harvesting. Nature carries out its own burns too, clearing away debris and allowing for new growth. Veld and forest fires naturally occur without the help of man and what is left behind is rich soil covered by the cinders of what once was..

Is a breakup an emotional and psychological form of a burn? Is the heartache, anguish, distress, self-loathing and all those other symptoms of a breakup merely part of the natural order of things? Is all your emotional clutter being burned away by the fire of your heartbreak? Are you being left cleared and exposed so that there is space for strong new growth to take place within yourself? I believe that if you allow yourself to experience the fires of your heartbreak then yes, I think that what grows in cinders of your past relationship and the exposed fertile soils of your spirit will be amazing to witness. You will be a person who knows how to not only love, but how to allow yourself to be loved, which in my mind is equally important.

If, however, you do not allow this burn to occur because you dowse its flames with denial or a rebound relationship or just by bottling up your emotions, all you are doing is allowing that emotional and psychological clutter to become denser, more twisted and entangled. This will strangle any real personal growth you are ever likely to achieve and in turn any relationship you will have. You will become a stunted and malformed person emotionally, as will all your relationships.

OK so what am I saying? I’m saying let it burn, baby, burn! I am in the middle of what is a burn right now and I tell you, for better or worse, I have felt and experienced every moment of it, every iota. I have been told I am wallowing, that I am moping, I say to them: bull!!! I am burning, and I know what grows in the cinders of this breakup will be something beautiful to behold(to be honest it was pretty awesome to begin with, ha ha ha!). All that accumulated clutter will be gone and the love exposed will be of the purest kind, strong and true, and that is good!

I encourage you to embrace your emotional turmoil, your pain, your heartbreak. You will be the better for it and so will all your relationships. Things that will grow in its aftermath are humility, understanding, empathy, patience, but most important, your character will grow, your personality, and you will the be richer for it. And so will this world.


cane fire