Lessons from Starting a Fire (Text Version)

Still working out how to post different media so please forgive me if I make multiple posts

Yesterday morning it was very cold and  I had the get a fire going at work….

I’m not a natural fire starter and have resorted to all sorts of “non-pc” methods in the past but I do try to keep to the natural path these days!  This is all very well when everything is dry and my toes  are not so cold they feel like they might …  just actually, might drop off.

So with a hard frost on the ground and the promise of warmth for the day I make a start.

I have a damp newspaper and  half a conifer that I felled on Friday soaked  from the weekends  torrential rain and now frozen, not the best fuels for a  fire…

But I really wanted to get the fire going, so I make my first attempt and it is a disaster, lots of smoke and early promise but suffocated by my putting too much wet fuel on the delicate flame I had managed to kindle… twice more I try and fail, I am running out of newspaper and getting colder and colder….

Despondent and chastened … I start again  one more time, not really believing I’m going to get anywhere, I go back to basics and use the dried out twigs, created from my previous attempts  to build a little pyramid over  the small amount of newspaper I have left  and begin again.  This time I pay attention to what I am doing.

These are the lessons I learn:

1.Pay attention to what you are doing.

Your attention focuses your efforts, I could have started with the pyramid but I was too impatient, I didn’t pay attention to what I knew about fires, fuel, heat and oxygen.

2.Use what left over from your previous attempts.

There is always something useful in  the remains of your previous efforts, do not discard them.

3.If you do not have everything you need, put more  effort into what you do have.

I had to compensate for the wet wood by blowing harder and longer  at the base of the fire to get it going in the initial stages.

4.Don’t give up and turn away, pay attention, you might miss something.

I almost gave up, I was so cold and nothing seemed to be working… just as I got up to go I noticed a lick of flame at the back of the fire, this was a turning point.

5.Capitalise on success, don’t play it down no matter how small it seems.

Seeing the lick of flame I got down on my knees and blew harder, adding more fuel and really paying attention to what I was doing.

6.Step back from time to time to see the full picture.

Still keeping your attention focussed on the task, but taking in the wider picture When I stepped back , I could see some wood  was drying around the small fire.

7.Acknowledge the voices in your head telling you that it won’t work, you don’t know what you’re doing, you’re doing it wrong….

They are there, they are not helpful but they are there.

8.Be prepared that it might not work that you might have to rethink, you might have to keep trying, you might have to give up.

Never, ever give up

In the Walking Runes, the Fire Rune is the rune of creativity, my experience with fire today has helped my reflect on how I struggle with my creativity I would be interested to hear what people think of the lessons I learnt and would love to know what people think of the audio version below.

Lessons from Starting a Fire

Early stages…

Wishing you all a splendid Tuesday Evening



One thought on “Lessons from Starting a Fire (Text Version)

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