My ex-wife got our house in the divorce. After a year, she decided she no longer wanted to live there. Instead of selling, we worked it out for me to take back possession. She had wanted to take the bbq grill, but after having trouble with it, she decided to leave it behind. I moved back in and thought I’d grill on it. Sure enough, it would not light and when it did the flame was very weak and would not cook the food. I spent an hour cleaning it and when I was done, it fired up using the self light and burned very hot.
While sitting there, sipping my beer and listening to the sizzle of steaks, I realized this whole grill thing was a metaphor for our marriage. Her tendency to want something to the exclusion of other more important things and to just abandon and move on when things got too hard. In this case, there was quite a bit of build up. I put a lot of it in there, but it was from more than just one person. Because of that build up, the flame could not get started easily. When it did, start there was a burst of flame that burned someone, but the fire itself was just too weak. It was left behind for something that required less work or at the least was just different.
When I looked at the grill, I saw something I could count on, that had produced some good meals in the past and was worth taking some time to fix. I scrubbed at it, even if it was kind of painful. I got the muck out, cleansed it and made it as good as new. I had to reexamine who I was, what I wanted and why I wanted it. In the end, I found my fire burning much brighter and hotter.
I’m glad I got to keep my grill and the first meal I cooked on it was for some friends to warm my new house.