"Little things seem nothing,
but they give peace,
like those meadow flowers which individually seem odorless
but all together perfume the air."
~ Georges Bernanos
It is so easy to miss little things. Obscure to the eye - or, dare we say, unimportant, for noticing little things requires attention, patience, and slowing - little things are frequently ignored. A little sparkle of light, a little insect, a little shift in the air or fragrance of a space, a little gesture: these are often overlooked because our busy lives, or worse, by our attitudes.
Last weekend while walking Lucy, I noticed the big things in the park: the cold; the edge of the playa that was dirty and murky with mud, trash, and dead leaves; the endless brown that is always with us in West Texas. I was tired but knew I needed to walk. Lucy was restless from being in so many cold days. The holidays were over and there was only bleak January to introduce a whole new (and uncertain, I felt) year. I was in a bad mood and miserably, pitifully, guiltily trampling over the little things that made up this bright and beautiful moment.
But when I walked around the side of this tree, something made me stop: a bit of fluff on a branch. I thought it was unusual, so I snapped a picture. I couldn't see it well because the sun was in my eyes (blessed big thing), so I kept walking.
It wasn't until I got home and looked at the photo that I realized what I had captured. A beautiful white feather, perfectly suspended on a bare branch with the morning sun streaming behind it. A beautiful cold, crisp morning, full of possibility. Another day. A life with health and thought and companionship. A chance to be. If I had a dollar for every "forgive me" moment, I would be a millionaire.
Truly my personal purpose for this year is to see and appreciate, as best as I am able, all the little things that make up this great and glorious life and be thankful even for the cold and the brown and the murk and mud. I'm taking my cue from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle: "It has long been an axiom of mine that the little things are infinitely the most important."