Saturday, June 9, 2007

Life is in the details~

We have a cherry tree. It's a baby; its crop of cherries increases slowly each year. This year we might get as pie out of it-- if we don't eat them one by one as they ripen. Its first year as a sapling, it presented us with one dangling red orb. My husband and I each ate half. A small thing that brought pure pleasure.

We have to protect the tree from insects and birds if we expect to get our dessert. We covered it with plastic netting that keeps birds out.

This morning my husband, picking cherries, called out, "Can you bring me the scissors?"

I did, wondering what kind of cherry could cling so stubbornly to the tree as to need scissors to harvest it. But it was a bird, a small house sparrow, tangled in the netting. It relaxed in my husband's grasp, not struggling or even blinking its shiny eyes. He held the bird, and I snipped the net.

We anticipated the grateful flutter of wings when the bird was set free, but it couldn't fly. Instead, one wing dragging, it wobbled off to hide under a clump of ornamental grass. A small thing that brought exquisite pain.

Why is it that the little things in life bring such profound pleasure and piercing pain seemingly out of proportion to the larger events in life?

Something as all encompassing as a war brings pain also, of course, but like an oyster, I encapsulate such enduring pain in a smooth coating. It presses still, but the sharpness is eased.

Life's larger pleasures become tarnished by daily exposure.

It is the little moments that catch me unaware, and go straight to my heart-- a heart that has no armor fine enough to prevent entry.

It's these little things that touch me with both pleasure and pain, that provide me with perspective. These little moments are everywhere. Life exists in the details.
Later, my cat stood on the back porch peering proudly in the doorway, the dead sparrow dangling from her mouth. I was not surprised. She often brings me such gifts. Her pleasure, my pain. I know there is far greater pain than a dead sparrow; I read the names of the dead soldiers in the newspaper. Even an oyster's pearl coating cannot cover that sorrow.


Josie said...

That's beautiful. I feel pain in the small things like that too. And I remember them for years. Forever, in fact.


Ruth D~ said...

It's the kind of pain that "twinges" my stomach. It feels sharp and awful.

You're right about remembering forever, though, Josie. You made me think of the time as a teenager when I inadvertently drove over a snake in the road with my VW bug. I looked in my rear view mirror and saw it writhing in the road. I felt that awful stomach twinge then, and can still feel it now when I remember.

Of course, snakes don't bother me. You might be getting an altogether different twinge right now. :>)

Gary said...

That's good writing, possibly workable into something salable.

I too make a point of reading every name I can find in the newspaper of a military person killed in Iraq or Afghanistan.

I speak out against this debacle when I can, but the military personnel who die because of mismanagement of inept strategy deserve our prayers.