It happened in the most ordinary of moments, the most mundane of circumstances. The block tower stood tall and the puzzle piece was found. The sippy cup dripped steady water on the wooden floor while the brothers flipped through the pages of the dinosaur book. But what happened inside of me was anything but small.
I felt it low and deep, in a hidden, dark corner within. If I had not been so still, if the moment had not been so small, I wonder if I would have even felt the flicker of the flame. It started as just a spark, small as a star, but as I gave it space, embers of openness, the flames began to catch. These flames stretched out their fingers and began to touch each nook and cranny of my spirit with their fresh heat. A fire spread, gaining steam with every second that I allowed it. I threw in only the kindling of wonder and awe, captivated by this new force, aware that by moving even slightly, I might somehow smother these precious flames. Soon it was wild within me, melting through dense layers, then tearing down thick walls. In no time at all, this fire that started so small, was rampant and out of control, singeing through darkness and roaring through silence. And I sat on the floor, next to dripping water and turning pages, with my soul ablaze.
I have often felt this way with grief- overtaken, consumed, hot with despair. But this was different. For these flames did not burn. These flames did not hurt. Their smoke did not blur my vision, but instead, allowed me to see. What could ignite such a fire? What could cause such a force to spread? Only the clarity of such thick smoke could lead me to the answer; that this wild fire of my soul began with the smallest flicker of the flame of hope.
My cheeks became wet with ashes and a smile covered the rubble. My son noticed and asked, “Are you so happy, Mommy?”
“No, son. I am better than happy. I am hopeful.”
And the fire rages on.