Be Bold

Be Bold

Recently, I was trying to start a fire in a fire pit.

There was already paper crumpled under kindling when I got there. All I had to do was light it. Easy, right?

I tried. And failed.

Now, I pride myself on being able to get a fire started, but it wasn’t happening here at all.

Several times, I held the lighter to the paper but it burned out almost immediately. I used the billows and reshaped the paper hoping it would catch better. Nope. Still nothing.

Finally realizing the paper was coated, I decided to start over. I pushed everything out of the way, added a lot of new uncoated paper and placed the kindling on top. 

This time it caught beautifully. Flames shot up, lit the kindling - and then went out. I'd added a few slightly bigger pieces of wood but they were barely getting touched at all. I tried the billows again, careful not to blow out the flames. Better, but not the roaring fire I was hoping for.

“Right,” said my friend Cat as she walked by (she’s English - that’s how she starts a sentence when she means business). “You’ve got a good start but you need to really lean into those billows and add bigger pieces of wood early on.” She picked up the billows and confidently fanned the flames with big bursts of oxygen. She threw two big blocks of wood on top and kept at the billowing until enormous, delicious licks of flame engulfed the entire mass. 

Of course that made me think.

(I'm not the only one who finds analogies to life everywhere, right? 🫣)

I couldn't properly light the flawed framework. So I figured out what needed to be fixed, cleared out the old and brought in the right materials. I made it my own. But the mass I’d rebuilt was too modest - tentative even.

Turns out, it needed a lot of oxygen, bigger pieces of wood, and the collaboration of others to really catch fire.


The last moments of a beautiful fire with friends.