The miniscule snail, settle snugly between the tightly-packed folds of a humungous cabbage I’d got at the Farmers’ Market, didn’t know what had almost hit him. I had just sliced it in two before scooping out the centre for coleslaw and using the outer leaves as a shell for stuffing and baking, after boiling it.
I gouged out the gobbet of leaves around him, and transferred him to the garden. Throughout this operation, the creature’s antennae alternately undulated and retracted; no doubt he was wondering why his crispy universe was being disrupted.
How could he have comprehended that his refuge had been only millimetres away from oblivion by knife-blade?
But snails, like tortoises, are renowned for being slow and steady – so he might have taken it all in his stride, so to speak.
Sometimes, it is the little things that hold my attention, and the infinitesimal details that leave me fascinated. Pretentiousness leaves me cold.
The flash of a firefly in the night is more interesting than a bonfire; the raspy trickle of sand through my fingers is more appealing than miles of open beach; the droplet of dew hanging on the tip of a leaf is more impressive than bucket-loads of rain; the swirl of colour in a glass as a teabag releases its flavour is more inspiring than the monochrome infusion.
This is the obverse of the coin, what William Blake succinctly described as… To see the world in a grain of sand, and to see heaven in a wild flower, hold infinity in the palm of your hands, and eternity in an hour.
Sometimes, we strive to impress others by brazen actions or grandiose schemes. Expensive gifts, designer clothes, and ostentatious jewellery are props we might use to make us feel better about ourselves because we couldn’t be bothered to delve deep into our inner beings to see our true worth.
There is the reverse of the coin – where something that would be inconsequential to most people takes on gargantuan proportions and needlessly spoils “everything” for the person who experiences it.
The afternoon siesta that’s cut short by a buzzing fly; the tiny stain on the white tablecloth that spoils a celebratory meal; the broken gel nail that stops us from going to our school reunion…
Little things mean a lot – both ways. Let’s make the agreeable ones count and ignore, or at least transform, the unpleasant ones.
I focus on my blessings
With an attitude of gratitude.
Content I have food to share;
Grateful my friend called me;
Happy to have a roof over my head, even though it leaks.
For I am alive.
I am secure in the knowledge
That I love, and that I am loved.
And that I have the gift of understanding, and the knack of empathy.
I am grateful. I am blessed.