tree fire

Burning the Tree on Beltane

A Celtic festival day, Beltane celebrates the arrival of summer and is usually held on or around May 1st, halfway between the Spring equinox and the Summer solstice.

The first of May fell on a Sunday this year; and as the stars were bright and the night was warm, Steve and I decided this was the perfect opportunity to take our Christmas tree down to the beach and set it on fire.

In past years, we often tried to coordinate our tree-burning with friends as a Summer solstice event in June; and good times were had by all. Fire, friends and a bit of booze have been the components of many a pleasant memory.

Having the dried-out brownish Christmas tree still on display in the house when it's Spring or even early Summer, or cramming it in the garage or leaning it up against the shed for many months, can be a space-consuming and awkward-to-explain decision. (In years past, we've had to rescue the tree when the landlady's handyman has (unsuccessfully!) tried to get rid of it by placing it on the curb with the green-waste bin on many trash days.)

But Pagan leanings and pyro-maniacal tendencies prevail. The two of us hauled the tree down to the beach in the trunk of the Town Car this year, and plunked it down sideways on a handy abandonded fire circle (still smoking-hot). It went up like a torch.

With Pleaides and other known constellations overhead, the pounding surf a few feet away, we admired the flames and I enjoyed a bit of rum. All too soon, our fir tree (very dry this year, and satisfyingly crackly and spark-generating) was transformed into a pile of burnt sticks and ashes.

We welcome the sun with our bright fire.


burning tree 1


burning tree 2


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burning tree 6