transforming fire

Once again I find myself in this kitchen,
cooking rice for the day's meal.
I don't mind staying here
as yaya (nanny) has provided a table and chair
and has kept the place clean.

Idly, I watched the fire die down.
I know I have to keep it burning as the water has yet to boil
or else the rice will spoil.
I took a paper for burning
and saw it slowly devoured by fire.
Fire has transformed it into its own.
No longer the paper I once held in my hands
But a fire now among fires.
This made me wonder
if there is anything
that is not transformed by fire.
They say it's plastic.
I say, "Maybe."
They say it's bricks, granite, diamond...
But all these have also been transformed by fire.
Are we not also transformed by fire?
Call it deadlines, crisis, rifts...
Those that cause turmoil within us
that make us cringe and struggle
Like the paper that writhed and cringed
as fire consumed it to its core.
The paper nourished the fire
as it helped keep it burning.
It has served another purpose
as it adapted to a new environ.
Like the paper that consumed
the all-consuming element of of its environ,
we, too, consume
the all-consuming elements in our environ
as these strongly influence us:
the philosophies, attitudes, beliefs;
culture and traditions.
We do not totally become
as we adapt what for us is applicable
and set aside what for us is not.
But still we change
only to adapt ourselves to a new environ
and nourish those around us
as we nourish ourselves in turn.
What happens to the paper?
As it turned to ash among embers,
come cleaning time
it's thrown in the garden
and becomes the 'transforming fire'
as it nourishes others
and help them live on.

Like the rest of us,
wherever we are,
we continue to transform
and be transformed
as we are consumed by our fires
and become a fire for others in turn.

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