“You have to let it breathe,” I told him, reforming the sticks and removing the larger ones. “Start small. Give it space.” He has watched me many times build the fire in our backyard pit. But as with most things, you learn best by doing, not just by watching. He kneeled, and sent a smooth gust of air right into the heart of the fire. The red coals sparked to life. “Now,” I advised, “be patient.” As night settled in, he sat, watching the fire, as we sat, watching him.