New Year’s Fire

Over Christmas, I got to build fires at my sister’s home. I was a bit out of practice and enjoyed the challenge. Rachel and my brother-in-love have these little “fire starters” that you can place and light to help get the rest of the fire going. I thought, “oh this is going to be easier than usual…a little wood and one of these babies and wham we’ll have a fire.” The first fire I built looked architecturally fine, but didn’t last.

I learned that the placement of the starter is pretty key. I set it on top of the logs and thought, no matter where it was, that it would magically make the other wood catch fire. Turns out, it’s best to put the starter under the wood, but with some breathing space, so the flames will rise and take to the rest of the infrastructure.

Photo by  Elijah Hiett  on  Unsplash

That first fire I built required us to chase it with paper. We had to keep poking and prodding it to keep going. The next morning, I tried again and built the fire around the starter. The giant log didn’t suffocate the starter and the flames, in their own time, took to the rest of the wood. I felt victorious.  

In the season of New Year’s resolutions, many are ready to start new fires. I reflect on the amount of cookies and eggnog I’ve enjoyed and I know that I’m not alone in wanting to create a healthier infrastructure for my diet. I also have writing goals and personal plans to check in and grow.

As many have pointed out, this is not the only time for re-evaluation and goal setting. I would agree. However, the start of a new year is a natural “fire starter” and watching the logs burn was a powerful moment for me. It’s tempting to take the new year’s fresh aspiration and throw the biggest log on there: “I will….. in 2019!” I learned the starter needed space and kindling—good things that it enjoyed—around it to make it take. I think about the kindling as things I am already doing really well. The not so giant logs that can easily catch on fire because they are ready.

The new year will ignite a lot, but what are the pieces from this past year that will help keep your fire burning? What are the kindlings/successful pieces you can pair with the fire for this next year? Alongside your healthy prodding, make sure to give yourself some breathing room as the sparks take.


Your Brave Tutu (You’re brave, too-too!)

-Take courage in delight. Discover power in small moments.

Rebekah Manley3 Comments