It always starts with something small.
Someone laughs and lights a firework, and in a series of only moments a wildfire is born and rages. The soil turns to ash. The sky clouds. The very surface of the Earth is altered for a lifetime, for lifetimes, forever.
A single step warmer, a shift by degrees, a change in the wind, and a storm welts over the water. A city drowns. The trajectory changes. The borders shift. The story dampens and folds.
A child walks streets and carves out her own corners, her place on the playground, a library window to read in, the faces and voices who learn her name, fall in love, hire and serve her, for whom she holds open a door. Small steps, small moments, and home is always only a collection, and she builds one. A lifetime, maybe lifetimes of moments, and a day to nullify them – a signature to rename a history. A handful of minutes to rip home away.
We are always a second’s rush of words away from endings and beginnings – the last thing we’ll tell him, the day we’ll meet, the things we’ll never say.
We are always one small something away from a wildfire.
Here is the hopeful, horrible wonder with which we must wrestle. Here is what we spend our precious hours learning to recognize, to remember, to hold. Here is the humbling helpless power, the beautiful disastrous truth that begins it:
You, my love, are something small. I am something small.
Spend your sparks wisely. Light up the world.