Two summers ago, my friend Kelley
came with me and my dad to check cows. My dad was cowboss on a large cattle ranch, and we made a day of it, packing hotdogs and all the fixings for lunch.
It poured on us that day. But we're cowboys and cowgirls--we're tough.
We rode for hours.
Kelley said she wasn't looking forward to cold hotdogs.
"My dad can build a fire in a hurricane," I assured her.
She didn't argue, but she was skeptical, I could tell.
We tied the horses, we gathered twigs.
Dad got out his lighter.
Time and time again, the wind and the rain blew out his little fire.
Kelley was frustrated.
"Be patient," I said, "he can do it."
And, sure enough, just when Kelley opened her pack of cold hotdogs and was ready to bite into one, the fire took hold.
"Told you so," I gloated. "Dad can build a fire anywhere."
My writing is kind of like building a fire in the rain.
I get a little fire going, it goes out.
I try again. The fire flickers.
A cold wind kills it.
One more time, I try.
Rain comes down.
But, like my dad, I have faith I can build a fire in the rain.