She rubbed the sticks together. Back and forth, back and forth, fast as she felt she could, keeping them pressed as tight as her muscles would allow. Her shoulders ached and her braids swung to and fro with momentum. Try as she might, nothing but a thin trail of smoke came of the friction she was struggling to create. She was weak, became dejected. Gave up.
She went about her day, gathering wood, beating mats, washing clothes, fetching water. Busy, she tucked the failure in the far corner of her mind, ignored, not quite forgotten.
But the next day, she tried again, hunting for dry, skinny twigs, propping them up with rocks and dirt. She scraped two of them together faster and harder than the day before until her fingers became red. Raw. Dust swirled all around her, suffocating, hindering. Still nothing. She ached and threw the kindling down in defeat.
That night she lay resting and thoughts melted into sleepy dreams. She endured fierce fervor, fuel and flashes. She toyed with passions, promises, pledges and purpose. She suffered dedication. She endured commitment. She breathed success.
Rising the next morning, she was wiser, shrewder. She’d try harder. She would not give up, for her dreams had reminded her, where there’s smoke there is fire.