When I was little I had this bright idea to go camping. I packed up supplies and some baby sisters and made the long trek to our side yard. We found a scenic spot beneath the arch of a pine treed fox hole and commenced to roughing it. First things first, we’d need a small fire to keep warm through the balmy June night. I made a circle of small twigs and driveway gravel to contain the flames. I cannot remember what tools were used. Maybe lighters and liquids snatched from Dad’s big grille? Regardless, three blows and frantic fans later we’d built ourselves a mighty successful fire. This blaze was man, or more specifically, child made, and it was glorious. I gasped in awe as the tiny purple grew giant orange. Crackling sparks sprang high and higher! I was warmed through with admiration for myself. Starting smokes like a boss! I smiled and stared on as flames swirled and kissed the dry trees above. The trees. The trees? The trees!
Somewhere between spark and self-love, the elderly Mr. Anglea limp-ran from his home next door. My sisters pointed blaming fingers at me. Tossing water on the scorched earth, he mumbled questions like “What in the Sam Hill?”, but I didn’t know Sam Hill and really didn’t care to. I was too busy looking at the shine my little hands started.
This is a story of brilliance, people. Also, maybe a bit of a cautionary tale about forest fires and unsupervised youth. But mostly brilliance.
Because that was the day I realized that fire was catching. Older now, I’ve ever so graciously abandoned plans of arson. Today I’m more interested in the the idea of fanning a good flame, sharing a special spark, hoping that if bad things can run wild then, by god, the best stuff can spread fierce and mighty, too.
Over the last couple of months, you’ve read of this good burning brighter than bad every time you’ve tuned into the Tiny Spark Series. My little pyromaniac soul could’ve never imagined just how big and wide your sparks would spread, how many readers would take these stories of finding light in a dark place and feel compelled to add fuel to a worthy fire, keep the conversation going, say so openly how another person’s light helped you find yours. Mr. Anglea and Sam Hill would be horrified by the mammoth blaze these Tiny Sparks have started. But me? I’m still rejoicing that fire is catching. I’m amazed by your shine.
Today the Tiny Spark Series comes to a close. To those contributors who showed us that everything from a picture or perfect stranger, a sea shell or Scripture can be just the unexpected spark that spurs change, thank you thank you thank you. To those readers who came bearing stories, stepped up and said “Hey. Me, too. Throw my log in this fire”, thank you thank you thank you.
Big Bright Beautiful Tiny Sparks
Miranda’s “The 8th Time“
Lisa’s “End of The Rainbow“
Jamie’s “A Helping Heart“
Vicki’s “The Dark Couch“
Andra’s “She Sells Sea Shells“
Kathy’s “A Beautiful Mind“
Paige’s “Remembering A Renegade“
Jenny’s “Beauty from Ashes“
Amanda’s “Art of Being Wrong“
Deb’s “Photographs of The Heart”
Katelyn’s “Growth In A Concrete Jungle“
Amber’s “Fairy Tales & Plot Changes“
Jackie’s “A Man Named Pearl“
Paula’s “Life Verse“
Kaela’s “The Father“
Imi’s “Could We Just Not?“
My “Mercy. Mercy.“
“There is in every true woman’s [or man’s or kid’s or dog’s] heart a spark of heavenly fire, which lies dormant in the broad daylight of prosperity; but which kindles up, and beams and blazes in the dark hour of adversity.” – Washington Irving
Kindle up & keep those sparks flying.