Saturday, October 25, 2008

small things

I've been thinking lately of small things - not petty, mean things, but things of no great matter. These things are not burdened by, nor do they burden anyone with, a great weight. They are light and quick, soft and swift. Catch them if you can.

This contemplation of small things arose after I saw a stunning photo of an Easter lily. Personally I prefer day lilies, but this close-up shot made me wish my world could fit in the bowl of that blossom. In my own forays into photography I have experienced the quiet thrill of capturing a hummingbird perched on the stem of a hosta's bloom, and tracking a busy, pollen-laden bumblebee from bloom to bloom.

Perhaps the sweetest 'little' surprise and pleasure in my world was a moment I could only enjoy, not capture (yet) in any photograph. It will remain ephemeral. On our way to a restaurant in Madison after a busy day in Atlanta my husband spied an errant bubble floating past us down the sidewalk. A toy store on one corner of the street has a bubble-making machine mounted outside and one of those iridescent spheres became our guide for a few yards.

I watched it float and bob along on the air currents I could not feel. I held my breath when it approached some potential hazard. I wanted it to float for as long as possible. It did, and evaporated in a blink without meeting any obstacles along its path.

More and more I will look for the small things, the light things to show me the way - the whisper in the crowded room, the moonlight sparkling on the dew before dawn, the bumblebee wallowing in a blossom, the little girl wearing ruby slippers to the grocery store.

Is this what Blake meant by seeing the world in a grain of sand and eternity in an hour? Maybe so. All I know is that when I contemplate these little bits of life I feel, inside, connected to the world.

This is no small matter.

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