It’s the Little Things

By | March 18, 2021
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It’s the Little Things

Thinking About Crocuses

They showed their pretty heads this week. After a cold and snowy winter, the crocuses, and the snowdrops magically showed their lovely heads and broke winter’s spell – at least for a while.

One day the ground was covered with snow, then the snow melted and brown, muddy dirt was all that was left. Then, magically, from the ugly patch of brown appeared little yellow and purple and white flowers. Every year, when I see the first signs of spring emerge from the frozen, brown, ugly dirt, I think it’s a miracle. And although I’m now an old man, the miracle of spring is just as much a miracle now as it was when I was a child.

But you see, I never lost the child inside. I never lost the feeling that it is the little things that make life worth living. The first flowers of spring, the sight of kids flying kites on a sunny, but chilly day in April. That first perfect day in spring when the sky is so blue and the majestic clouds so white, that it takes your breath away. 

Spring… One day the trees are brittle and barren, the next day they are covered with bright green leaves that will never again be exactly as fresh and as green as they are in spring. Well, I mean they’ll never be as green until the next spring comes. And you know what’s odd? When the trees are brittle, barren, skeletons, I can’t remember what they looked like when they were full of leaves. And when they are resplendent in their gala attire of green, I can’t remember what they looked like when they were stark and empty against a gray winter sky.

And while it’s not a little thing, it’s a miracle. The vernal equinox – the beginning of the seasons of life. When the sun crosses the equator on its way to the Tropic of Cancer and brings with it the season we call summer. Life loves the spring and summer and so do I. These are the times when so many little things make me glad to be alive.

Sitting outside on one of the first nice days of spring – the air smells different. It’s cleaner and fresher and newer somehow. And the little things like the sounds of birds singing in the trees, and smell of the freshly mown grass, and even the tiny, seemingly insignificant ants, moving around on the ground beneath my chair – make my day special and make life even more worth living.

Looking up at a puffy cloud floating above me, I can see the head of a horse or a dragon, or a Greek god. I can see whatever I imagine. And suddenly, it’s a time machine taking me back to my days as a boy, lying on the green grass looking up at a sky that seemed too immense to understand. All the clouds became something new – a dog, a castle, an alligator, a dinosaur…

Bows and flows of angel hair and ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere, I’ve looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun they rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done, but clouds got in my way.

I’ve looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down and still somehow
It’s cloud’s illusions I recall
I really don’t know clouds at all…

Judy Collins “Both Sides Now”

And though I’m an old man, I really don’t know clouds at all. I’ve looked down on clouds from windows of airliners, and they look flat and uninteresting -not all the “feather canyons” they look like from the ground.

And think there’s a life lesson in there somewhere. I guess you can look at anything and see it in different ways. And that includes people too.

It’s easy to put people in little boxes and put labels on them. The wrong labels and the wrong boxes make it easier to dislike them – especially if they don’t think as you do.  I try not to put people in boxes and label them, but sometimes I do. I don’t like that. I try hard not to do it. It’s a little thing a lot of people do that turns into a big then when boxing and labeling turn into hate.

We can look at anything in opposite ways. You may love winter and dislike spring. And that’s fine. You’re not like me and that’s fine too. But still, it’s hard to understand how anyone could not be touched by the sight of those first tiny flowers of spring. That’s life springing from death – and that’s not a little thing. It’s something we all should take to heart. 

The seasons of life are quite like the seasons of the year.  Childhood, Youth, Middle Age, and Old Age. Spring, summer, autumn, and winter.

All these thoughts were stirred by some little flowers that announced told me spring is here – and they were such little things. 

Little things are not trivial things. They can be inspirations and make life worth living.

Go and look and you’ll see so many little things – you’ll wonder how you missed them before.






3 thoughts on “It’s the Little Things

  1. Holly H Cohen

    Oh TC I SO agree with you !! I love the colors of new flowers. It gives me a great calmness in these troubled times. Their hues, their scents and those that have such happy faces 🙂

  2. Marlene

    Thank you for this essay and all the others you write. You make me look at a lot of things in a different way than I would ordinarily do. And I like it. These little essays are very special.

  3. Darlene Anderson

    My octogenarian brain has some crowded folders and some that have been fragmented by time, but a few are still growing–driven by the need to survive in a technological world. My neediest ‘growing’ folder is the one that holds my still insecure computer skills. When my Jim died in 1990, I couldn’t even find the power button to turn on a simple desktop computer, but thanks to you two magicians at Cloud 8 I have worked my way through desktops, laptops, and tablets with a stop-off at cell phones. You started me with Cloud 8 stationery and assistance surviving Windows 3.1, and are now helping my fragmented folder of Memory as I exist in a world of touchscreen Windows 10. Much of that help came through the Information Avenue Weekly. But as time has passed, I find that the first thing I read each week is TC’s remarkable essays.

    Every one of them has that special quality of helping me take a step out of the frantic life I find myself living. I thought that being old and female, things would slow down, but as I slowly added the jobs and responsibilities to my life that had been my husband’s, things got more complex and seemed to speed up as dates came and went to take out the garbage, renew license plates and car insurance, get shots for my Chihuahua and figure my Federal Income Taxes. So these special breaks are so appreciated. Spring was my favorite season when I was young and had love around me. But now that my husband has been gone for 30 years and my only son is 67 and living in the desert of Southern California, I look more to Fall. It’s where my life is now. Saying this is denial in many ways. Eighty-seven should be considered my Winter, but after living for 24 years in the snow and dark of Alaskan winters, I prefer the magic and beauty of fall in the Northwest. Since that is where I will most likely be when I draw my last breath, I will look to the reds and golds and autumn browns of the forests here, and enjoy the warm slant of the autumn sun through the trees as I drive.

    I used to think I was either genetically blessed with the characteristic of appreciating the small things in life, or it was a product of being a child of the depression, because far, far back in the dusty cobwebs of memory, I remember penny candies and ten-cent popcorn but I didn’t really appreciate them then. I took them for granted. So that pretty much trashes my genetic blessing and it must be attributed to age and developing wisdom. But it is always nice to read someone’s thoughts as they walk that path, and TC has a magical way of getting right to my heart, so I enjoyed this one very much. See you next week, TC!


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