Time to light the bonfire. Using a bow drill for the first time. Fire by friction. I chose a stick from the woodpile and sawed a bit off of each end so I could carve two notches. Wood was so soft the knife slipped and cut my left middle finger. Finally got the notches cut and then tied a piece of parachute cord between them, top with a timber hitch and the bottom with a clove hitch.Then the bow was ready. Got a small piece of cedar and split it in half with an ax. This would be my burn board. Went and gathered some cat tail fluff from the marsh and hay from the barn; my tinder bundle. Left foot on the burn board, left leg at a right angle, right knee pressing into the wood chips, left hand on the stone to keep the spindle in place, right hand on the bow. Ready. Go. The string on the bow was too tight and kept snapping back into my fingers. My back hurt and the woodchips dug into my knees. It was so hot and humid and dirt clung to the sweat on my body, inching its way into open mosquito bites on my feet while large flies crawled up and down my skin. Continued on. Needed to put more pressure on the spindle because the dust was still light brown coloured and not hot enough to make enough depth in the burn board. More force. Bow slipped, and string too loose. Less force. Dust to light. Over and over and again. Finally enough depth to cut out a notch. Sliced my finger again. Blood and dirt smeared on the wood. Time to try for a coal. Bow slips, fingers hurt, dust too light. No coal. Mosquito bites itch. Over and over. But frustration did not ensue. Instead I harnessed my bitterness at the world about having lost my brother and let it manifest into sheer will power and determination. Suddenly I was overcome with the physical metaphor of sadness and grief being one of the driving forces of the light we cultivate in this world. Breathe in. Breath out. Ready, go again. Gently. Slowly. Back ache and neck ache. Tears close. Breathing in the soft scent of cedar, I let grief flow through my finger tips into the bow. Forward and back. Forward and back. Then it came. Smoke billowing around me until I started to choke. And then it caught. A bright red glowing coal. I blew on it, fanned it and scooped it up into my tinder bundle. Fire in my hands growing stronger with my emerging breath. Set it down in the woodpile until a huge pile of brush was burning; all from my ability to use my sadness as fuel to create warmth. Fire out of the determination concealed in tear drops. Aaron, I think he would have been proud.