The differences that make a difference

What makes a fire burn
Is the space between the logs,
A breathing space.
Too much of a good thing,
Too many logs
Packed in too tight
Can douse the flames
Almost as surely
As a pail of water can.

So building fires
Requires attention
To the spaces in between,
As much as to the wood.

When we are able to build
Open spaces
In the same way
We have learned
To pile on the logs
Then we can come to see how
It is fuel, and absence of the fuel
Together, that make fire possible.

We need only lay a log
Lightly from time to time.
A fire
Simply because the space is there
With openings
In which the flame
That knows just how it wants to burn
Can find its way. 

Judy Brown, ‘A Leader’s Guide to Reflective Practice’