“Bang! Stick ‘em up mummy. Bang! Bang!”
But instead of raising her arms in the air, her mother took a photograph. This child never had to be told to smile for the camera—her eyes twinkled mischievously and she laughed every day, brimming with an abundance of love and compassion, hope and wonder, joy and curiosity.
She adored her mom. Worshipped her dad. And kissed and cuddled and dressed My Lady in discarded baby clothes, far beyond the tolerance of most long-suffering rescue dogs.
She had a brother two years her junior. His special name was Coco and she loved to squeeze his coco-puff cheeks and kiss his pursed red lips, never quite sure if he was trying to cuddle her back, or push her away.
And now—after spending a week with her cousins—she'd come home to a brand new baby sister.
She couldn’t pronounce the baby's name, but slapped her hands tight against her own cheeks and gasped "Pretty pretty Kaya,” as they met for the first time. She snuggled into Kaya's neck, sniffing her baby-smell, and gently slid her small hands under baby's shoulders to lift her from the cot. Her mother reached over and whispered “Let’s go outside and play while baby sleeps.”
Straightening her Sheriff’s hat, she raced downstairs and into the yard.
She couldn’t wait until her brother could run—then she’d have had a real bad cowboy to chase! (No way was she giving up her Sheriff’s badge.) And when her sister was big enough to climb on the shiny, black wooden pony that daddy had carved, she’d make her a deputy. That would make the new baby feel special. She smiled and her tummy tickled and tickled inside. Nanny said those were butterflies, and she had a belly full, fluttering and dancing around. Life could get no better …
“Bang. Bang. Stick ‘em up mummy. Bang. Bang.”
But it’s not.
No matter how small, or how dim, the spark is always there. Smoldering eternal.
When we are weary or fearful, confused, or tearful, we need to be still. We need to look deep inside ourselves and nurture the ember, rekindling the unique and wondrous essence that we each brought with us into the world. We need to refuel. To reconnect with the earth. To tease the flame. Gently. Gently. Until it glows. Until the ember grows strong. Until it once again flames. Not so that we can be who we once were—but so that we can become, so much more.
"For it is better to have a heart without words, than words without a heart. " John Bunyan.