A few years ago, my niece and I spent a summer season working as wardens at a holiday campsite. Unbeknownst to the owner of the campsite who employed us, we were both useless at lighting fires. We had to become experts pretty quickly, as we relied on our campfire for our meals and hot drinks, and we often had to light our guests’ fires for them. In no time at all I could throw a few sticks together any old how, strike a match, and get a roaring fire going with very little effort.
I already knew that in order for a fire to ignite, fuel, oxygen and heat are required, but I learnt something new that summer – in order to ensure the fire succeeds, there is a fourth, labour-saving ingredient you can use:
utter faith in the ability of the flame to spread.
A Glimmer of Hope
When it arrived
it was no bigger than a fly;
a tiny hope like so many before
which had briefly glowed,
only to stutter and die.
Previously, I’d tried
to make the flickering fire grow,
mothering her, smothering her with my need
to steal her from the hellish end
that looked like her destiny
trust walked by my side.
Believing she had the strength and desire
to heal herself, I breathed this certainty,
and she inhaled my faith.
A glimmer of hope
radiated to become a shining light
which obliterated all darkness,
making her whole.
©Jane Paterson Basil