Final Words

the-sparkWhy did Barnett write The Spark? ‘Because I believe Jake’s story’, she writes, ‘highlights the possibility we all have of realizing what is extraordinary in ourselves.’ She adds, ‘If you fuel a child’s innate spark, it will always point the way to far greater heights than you could ever have imagined’ and that ‘by sharing our story, I hope that will happen.'(249) Barnett’s gifts are the vision to see that innate spark and the ability to nurture it. She also possesses the gift of love. She doesn’t name love explicitly at the end but it’s there, and it’s also throughout, a force guiding her inner compass. You could say she has won the lottery just by being born white and American in the twentieth century. You could say she has the amazing support of neighbours and family. But the real boon, which she could have had anywhere, anytime, is what she inherited and what she passes on. Whether Democrat or Republican, whether counter-culture hippie or culture-loving consumer, love is common to all, love is a gift to all, and the final word is love.

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