On my drive to and from school, I keep reminding myself to soak it up and take it in. Instead of getting lost in thought or just robotically staring at the road ahead, I attempt to look up and look around. So often I find myself in the early part of winter wondering what happened to the fall days I cherish. The trees seem to be blazing scarlet and golden hues for such a brief period of time. While I think fall is often inconveniently truncated, I also forget to embrace the days we do have.

This year, I’m attempting to make my morning and evening commutes a time for noticing. Noticing the particular blush of the tree near my house, mostly green but with a warm glow on top. Noticing the checker of colors on the trees as I wait for the light to change. Noticing the warmth of the afternoon sun and the slight coolness in the morning air.

There seems to be a need to soak up these moments, to store them away in my heart for the months ahead where the trees will be barren and the air frigid. In those moments, there will be much to be grateful for, too, but I want to relish these days as the colorful glory that they are for me.

Which reminds me of a poem I revisited not too long ago about the beauty of all of these small moments that add up to our whole life. If we neglect the small moments, the times when we are startlingly alive or shaken into remembering our existence or our hearts are moved in a new way, if we overlook these glimpses, we will soon find ourselves overlooking our lives. Perhaps all big things start out as small glimmers.

Without further ado, from Anna Kamienska:

“Small Things”

It usually starts taking shape
from one word
reveals itself in one smile
sometimes in the blue glint of eyeglasses
in a trampled daisy
in a splash of light on a path
in quivering carrot leaves
in a bunch of parsley
It comes from laundry hung on a balcony
from hands thrust into dough
It seeps through closed eyelids
as through the prison wall of things of objects
of faces of landscapes
It’s when you slice bread
when you pour out some tea
It comes from a broom from a shopping bag
from peeling new potatoes
from a drop of blood from the prick of a needle
when making panties for a child
or sewing a button on a husband’s burial shirt
It comes out of toil out of care
out of immense fatigue in the evening
out of a tear wiped away
out of prayer broken off in mid-word by sleep

It’s not from the grand
but from every tiny thing
that it grows enormous
as if Someone was building Eternity
as a swallow its nest
out of clumps of moments

Small Things by Anna Kamienska, (courtesy of “The Paraclete Poetry Anthology: Selected and New Poems”)

Photo by Courtney Smith on Unsplash

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