It has been a week of little things. I am not sure what I have actually done the last 5 days although I can feel the wheels starting to move, as the gears shift.  And there were a couple of biggies.

Last weekend the man with whom I live, as a well as being a potter, proved that he can apparently change out a radiator on a Honda! It was most impressive, and done with very little angst. The car no longer spews antifreeze everywhere. That was The Big Thing. As a couple, in the house we share, we hosted our first dinner guests. That was a big thing and much fun.

However, it is those little unexpected moments that are vibrating for me as I sit to write this morning. Maybe there is so much that is BIG coming my way that this period with time and awareness of the ‘little’ is grounding me in some way. Here follows a series of snapshots of the Little Things.

Morning School Kids
Each morning when I go to feed the horses, I notice the kids wandering their way to the places where the school bus picks them up, or if I am a little later, standing in slightly disorientated looking attitudes. Maybe one is digesting breakfast, another coming up with excuses why homework isn’t ready. Some are clearly not even awake. They have large brightly colored coats, skinny legs, ponytails and baseball caps. Some swing their bags around their bodies as if about to launch a shot put, and others are hunched beneath them like over-housed snails.

Mariah in the Zone
Down at the horse yards later in the day, I often turn out Mariah while I clean her stable area. Most days she fairly races up and down the perimeter nearest the stables working herself into a lather. This week, on a day when the wind had surprisingly actually ceased, the sun was hot and the environment very quiet around the stable area, she connected to the surrounding atmosphere.

Looking up from the rake and barrow, dry manure dust in my nose, I watch her mooch slowly about the entire area. She stops and stares off in the opposite direction across the lake, and then she carefully picks a spot and rolls – long and thoroughly. Eventually, she stands up, shakes herself with all her legs splayed, and proceeds to pick at the green in the yard. One relaxed little horse.

Running Again
The warmer weather and longer daylight hours have inspired me to start running again. Not far and not fast, careful not to aggravate the knee beyond a point of no return, I jog around the ‘block’ adding a few more minutes each time out. Stretching my legs out on the downward side of the small hill up which I have just puffed, I feel a bit like my old running self. Free, light, expansive.

Coming toward me is an older woman on one of those little scooters. We pass each other on the road. She looks right at me, her hands on the handlebars of her motorized transport. I am hoping I haven’t added too many more yards to the run by detouring on this side road. She calls out, ‘I wish I could still do that.’ I am suddenly aware. ‘Yes’, I call back, ‘I am grateful that I can still do it.”

Arriving home 15 minutes later, red-faced, sweating and happy, I am indeed grateful that I can still do it.

Roadside Night Horse
Driving back from rehearsal, it is about 9.30 pm and dark. Zipping along at the speed limit of 65mph traveling East, when suddenly, startlingly, on the side of the road, a horse heading West! Chestnut, tacked up in western gear, a rider in a large cowboy hat. Male or female?  Too fast and dark to tell.

I nearly turnaround, cross the center line, wait for a break in the traffic and loop around to come back past them again. What are they doing along the highway at that hour?  A story I can’t know but it stays with me. In that brief passing, the horse looked alert but calm, the rider was invisible except for the hat. I am heading home in my car. Where are they going?

Supermarket Vision
Late at night, again after rehearsal, (different night) I am pushing the cart around. I always feel disorientated and as if I have been dropped onto an entirely different planet in a supermarket. It is more pronounced at night and requires all my self discipline to focus on the task at hand, stay in the store and see the list through.

Scanning the wrinkled piece of paper, I just barely look up. Ahead of me are a very high pair of black spiky heels, two perfectly straight black seams heading up a pair of long, shapely legs. Cut on the extreme bias, hanging longer on one side than the other, a black skirt is barely met by a black and white hound’s tooth jacket slung across a pair of straight, wide shoulders. Very black hair, pulled back and curled up at the sides, with a red bow tying it 40s style completes the vision.

She is holding her list up in beautifully manicured red-nailed hands, and turns her head slightly. I nearly fall over. I think I have landed in a Disney movie or an MTV  video. She is a sort of cross between Cruella de Ville, Jessica Rabbit, Annette Benning in ‘Bugsy’ and  Madonna in the mid 80s. White makeup; huge brown eyes with dark liner and enormous lashes; full, perfectly red lips and a swatch of white bleached hair on one side right through the dark black!

I am wide awake and fascinated by this planet! We end up side by side at the end of a long line. (Only one checkout open and Good Lord, who knew so many people shopped at 10 at night?) I have to tell her how incredible she looks and how bold to be in here like that.

This young woman is on her way to a last minute ‘dress up and cook’ party. Her cart is loaded with great looking ‘to cook’ food and chocolate cookies. She is allergic to cats which are all over her friend’s house, and thinks her eyes are red. As I tell her, if anyone notices her eyes are red (which they might have be when one looks very closely and with that in mind) then they are missing the big picture entirely.

Then they open another lane, we go our separate ways. I hear some old guy say, ‘Well, look at you little lady. You’re all dressed up.’ What delight she is giving so many out of place, late night shoppers!

Weeding
The yard around the house that we rent is an Arizona desert garden. It sports aloe plants, cactus, low shrubby creeping stuff just emerging green shoots under the old grey-brown after the winter and some pines. Much of the yard has been carefully paved with stones/rocks laid down years ago, surrounded by gravel sections.

Also over the years, weeds and grasses have found their way up through the spaces between the stones and rocks, through the splits in the plastic beneath the gravel and into the few garden beds.

I have been gradually removing them, which includes realigning the stones and re-spreading the gravel in many places. One circular area was almost entirely thick grass and weeds, around the wide, paved base of a small, gnarly peach tree. This little tree was twisted, had been bandaged in a couple of places and indeed looked very sick all winter.

I started the weeding process as a few little pink blossoms were emerging on a couple of  the little skinny twigs. I trimmed the naked twigs from the base of the tree and we looked at it, hoping it’d be alright. Most of the circle around it had been cleared when I went out after a day or two unable to be out there, and was stunned with delight!

In 24 hours the entire tree, anywhere it’s branches are exposed to the light, has become a mass of pink blossoms. I spend an hour and complete freeing the  rocks and stones from weeds. Today this amazing, awkward looking little tree, with some dead stumps, the odd bandaged limbs and the multitude of blossoms, stands free of weeds, in a circular bed of beautiful, natural rocks and stones. She is gorgeous.

Clay Play
We have a clay studio in the house. There have been bursts of activity in there. When my daughter was here, when I wanted to make something each for the cast in the play I directed, when David has work to do. We have just begun a special joint project.

A couple of nights this week we quietly worked in there, sometimes with music, sometimes without. We work together on the same project, but each doing different pieces of the work. Sometimes I am shaping the clay, sometimes under-glazing. Not having to talk alot, working out the form, agreeing on the direction and then proceeding with the art and technique of creation. Restful, beautiful, easy.

In the morning, when I go out with my coffee to the studio, I am greeted by a line of perfect little pieces almost floating in the gentle light coming in through the windows. Gifts made and given, and to be given again.

……..

There are huge events ahead. Some I know about and am planning for, others are intimations and there will be the complete surprises. This period as spring emerges, as I have time to observe and participate in the small delights, is precious.

Like tiny streams that begin the highlands, gathering size and power flowing toward their destination, so are the little things in our lives. All water flows to the hugeness of the sea, all our events and moments flow into the heart and the Soul. I choose to really be aware of those that feed and nourish me. Those that hurt and harm I will release.

The little things that empower my being as a living, breathing, spiritual creature are the many streams and rivers that provide nuance, color and depth on the journey. I will also travel through the big things on my way to that ultimate destination. The little things are foundational to my evolution.

I hope that you find the little things in your days and nights that fill your core being, nourishing you on your journey. The little things prepare you for the big things and see you safely to the end.

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