After 20 minutes of crouching over the precious bundle, whittling and notching and spinning and gently blowing-oh, so gently-he straightens his back to stretch and takes a nourishing breath. Trying to coax fi re out of nature takes not only patience, but stamina. If it were me, I’d be fl ummoxed by the dozen pairs of eyes around the circle, watching intently, silent. He seems quietly self-assured and leans forward again to resume.