The first time is always the hardest. You know the story, but you haven’t lived it. You know the weariness but have only dreamed of the release. Perhaps you even doubt your nature.
This is normal. None of us have much to do with fire until that moment. You know the coolness of water as you drink it. You know the solidity of the earth from every tree that gifted you a branch to perch on. You know the caress of air as it lifts you. To give ourselves over into fire’s arms when you're barely acquainted with it is not easy. And even when you know the lick of the flame, you know it will be nothing less than…ardent. Fire is possessive, wanting to adore your every molecule. Its intentions are wholly unsubtle.
Perhaps you’ll try to put off that first meeting. Maybe you truly have forgotten yourself, thinking this known heaviness of wing is easier to bear than fire’s passion. I will not be the one to tell you it is easy. But I will tell you that to be a phoenix is to burn. To be otherwise is to be resigned to ever-dulling plumage, a sad old bird hoping to sustain themselves on the idea of someday burning but growing thinner and paler every day they put it off.
Find a good spot for it. I favor a mountain top, where I have a good view of the sun so we can rise together. Above all, decide what is worth burning for. It will still be intense, but I must confess, there’s a special pleasure in it then. That pleasure only grows with time, though I see you don’t believe me. I am not offended. Some things need to be felt to be known.
Maybe someday it will be you encouraging a young one. I hope that you’ll think of me fondly then. And do come see me after it’s through. We will have many things to speak of.