As life keeps propelling me forward at a breakneck pace, tonight I take another step towards a new adventure, and even more excitement to pile into my already frenetic life. Tonight is my first official meeting as a volunteer firefighter. I have passed the Firefighter's Physical Agility Test, passed the drug test, passed several interviews, and now I step into the Station as a newb and probie, but also as "one of us." Tonight I will get my first set of Turn Outs, the protective gear worn when on a call. True, the academy is not until January, and that is when I will truly learn what it means to be a firefighter. To say I am excited would be an understatement.
I know this has come as a surprise to many people. But what they do not know is that I have long harbored the desire to be a volunteer firefighter. It has been a deep secret sheltered within my heart for my entire adult life. This is a dream that I have never dared whisper to a soul, but every time I would pass a station, or see a fire engine, the secret would whisper to me. I knew when my sons were young that risky endeavors were not to be undertaken, but now with both sons grown and independent, my life is my own to risk or not to risk. I know that chances of serious injury are likely slim, but there is always risk when dealing with a potentially dangerous unknown.
I wish I had taken this step sooner. I wish I had let myself set aside more self-indulgent expenditures of my time, or tried to fit more into every day, or just allowed myself to make the decisive step. But the time was not yet ripe. As those who know me will attest, once I make a decision I do not like to hesitate or procrastinate. But as one who knows myself, I know that I can procrastinate and hedge when a reality is a bit frightful. Though it has been a long standing desire, I have hesitated for it is a scary prospect, but once I made my decision to step up to the plate I felt I couldn't act quickly enough.
One aspect I find amusing, ironic, and more than a little bit apropos is my acknowledgement of my own Inner Fire. My Elemental Fire. I have a fire that lives within me that can flare easily from ember to maelstrom with the slightest of provocation. Along with my inner fire, there has been my well documented spiritual journey through fire. I have been singed and burned to the core, figuratively. I have written so often of spiritual Fire, as an entity that surrounds me, fills me and inspires me. Fire that cleanses, purges, and purifies. Fire that inspires, motivates and drives me. And now to step into a new phase of life when Fire will become a literal entity, a physical motivation, a force to be understood, respected. No longer will the fire in my life be only The Fire Within.
There is a quiet excitement and exultation that simmers in my heart at the thought of things to come. Yes, I am sure the bulk of my experiences will be mundane, even boring. But there is the opportunity to help, to contribute, to make a difference within my own community. I am excited. I am going to be a Firefighter.