"Fire and gunpowder do not sleep together." ~African Proverb
Tonight I was a little bit chilly so I decided to light our pellet stove. I love our pellet stove because I can adjust the level of heat from just a little warm breeze to "cooking," as my husband puts it. As I started up the stove, I heard the pellets dropping but nothing was happening. I waited...if anything I have learned to be patient with this stove...and I waited.
I waited for about 25 minutes to find nothing happening in the pellet stove...no fire. The pellets had fallen, filled up the bowl, but the lack of flame, meant a lack of fire. I hadn't really thought about it before...all the components were there, yet I had no warmth...the fire, the spark hadn't taken. I opened the stove, changed out the bowl and started the process again, this time with a fire so high I was concerned it might shatter the glass. It was clear that it was burning hot and fast. I paused, pondering what I would do if the glass did shatter.
Fire...it's such a complex thing. Historically it was used to forge steel to make weaponry and armor. The power of fire harnessed to use in battle. Fire, a simple flame not controlled, can ravage a community, a countryside, a nation. One stray match or spark can have devastating affects. Fire is powerful beyond belief.
Words are a bit like fire with the power to strengthen or destroy. We must be careful, one careless word, a spark, can have devastating results. Like fire, words can be uncontrollable. Although we may believe that they are directable, like a flame, words can have unexpected casualties.
As I approach the end of the school year, I need to stay cognizant of this, after all, I want to use the power of my flame to forge strength in those around me, give them the edge, rather than being careless and devastating all that has been built. It is a delicate balance...using the power of the heat to meld and mold, make minor (or sometimes major) adjustments to the shape and strength, making it stronger and more durable than ever imagined. Using the flame to gain the power to garner results that are desired rather than having to throw everything back into the flames, just to begin again from scratch.
Fire...so beautiful, yet the potential to be so devastating...Watching the flames dance and flicker is spellbinding until we realize that damage done is irreversible and devastating with rebuilding taking far longer than desired and the burns are far more painful than expected.