I knelt close to the pile of tinder with flint and steel in hands. Striking for sparks I had all the concentration, focus and determination of a first year student at Hogwarts, trying their hand at a Lumos spell in week one. Only this wasn't week one. I have lit more campfires than I can remember.
Bending low with my cheek grazing the ground, I look to see a flame, sending lung fulls of Oxygen towards the shavings and sticks. I felt a tiny seed of doubt within, and wondered had my spark been enough?
Upright, i reach for the flint and shower sparks over the tinder, taking time to feed more Oxygen into the mix. Small wisp's of smoke tendril skyward and there is now hope mixed with doubt, as I kneel thinking 'today is perhaps the day I cannot light a fire'.
But the saying 'no smoke without fire' come true as my eyes spot a radiant ball of orange glowing brightly in the centre of my sticks. A huge grin grows within. I relax and allow a little time to take hold of the glow, a little oxygen to mix and I know the flame will appear. And it does! Like magic. my heart soars, just like the first time every time. Though the first time was over twenty years ago!
As the flame grows, sticks crackle like Harry Potters wand and then with a burst of ignition my fire is burning into kindling, taking hold of bigger branches finding its way upwards, singing the joy of campfire spirit! sitting back on my heels I hug my knees in bliss. Above me tow buzzards circle and are joined by two more. They circle the fire site high above, in a trade of thermal and wing power. As they head away over the hill it occurs to me that all is well. the first spark I shed into my tinder today may well have been enough. That first spark was working on catching alight, with a little time and courage and self belief I may have seen that through.
Even when we cannot see the light of our sparks they are smouldering, gathering energy. With enough faith in ourselves, and help from the good people around us anything is possible. we can all ignite the dreams and hopes within.
I reflect it is so important then, to nurture the self esteem of each child as we help feed the flames of children's dreams and hopes so they too can watch them ignite and grow. as we encourage them to radiate and shower their own sparks of imagination, learning and growth; we validate, protect and allow a little time , without force, for each of them to be who they are. Perhaps then, they can begin to see and believe in their own spark within. and believe in themselves. Thier hopes and dreams.