A Spark

Have you felt that spark of greatness, but it lacked what was needed to really light your soul on fire? Well, over the holiday break, my family rented a cabin at Devil’s Den and, of course, we wanted to have a fire in the fireplace… for s’mores. My husband is a natural firebug, but also an ex-Park Ranger; the outdoors is his thing. Still, it took us forever to get the fire going. The ventilation was off in the older, poorly designed fireplace. The wood was somewhat green, and Arthur was putting big pieces on the fire too soon. He inherited the outdoor bug as well. Growing up camping, cutting wood, and being married to my husband for 12 years, I have a good idea on how to build a fire, too… so it was a team effort.

Throughout the process, we learned the fireplace, brought in extra starter materials, and managed to maintain a good fire through our weekend retreat. If we had stopped at the first try, with that first spark, we would have been freezing and s’more-less in a really cool cabin all weekend. We had to figure out what ignited and fueled our spark and what would keep it lit. It is not always as simple as one thinks, even if you are a seasoned camper.

How can this apply to everyday life? What passion or project is swirling like a spark in your mind? It is easy for a sale at Hobby Lobby to spark a creative project idea, but it doesn’t justify the floor to ceiling stacks of paper in my art/office studio, waiting to be used. Sure, I have completed some projects and was impressed, but I have way too much paper now, and it is more overwhelming than inspiring!

Many of you may know that my passion is connecting and helping people in animal agriculture. I have a conversation with someone and can write down a list of action items that can grow into a raging inferno or spurt out in a few short minutes. What is the deciding factor?  …the right fuel? …the right person?  The honest interaction, a two-way communication, thoughtful insights… I think you get the point.  To keep your passion of life’s work – or even romance – alive, it is important to determine the materials and steps to create the fire or energy and how to keep it fueled. Remember, without both kindling and refueling the fire, it will burn out. Without proper care and attention, it may also burn out of control.

Think about your sparks. Are they close to your fireplace? Do you have the right plan or resources to keep the fire going? How bright or intense do you want to keep it? If you do not get it right the first time, reflect on why and prepare to make the necessary changes in the future.

Published by Dr. Casey L. Bradley

I am an Animal Scientist, Mother and avid crafter or artist.

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