Dear little things.

Sunday evening, and I’m quite worn out, from doing so little, seemingly – but the screens are getting to me. We only have two weeks left of church school on Zoom, for which I am glad. I love the children in my class, which is why it’s exhausting to try to be “with” them this way, and it must be difficult for them, too. In any case, half of them don’t seem to be present the way they were when we were together in the flesh. I think it’s because they are quiet personalities, and Zoom-ing takes a certain amount of assertiveness.

What I did today, not in order: I took a walk first thing in the morning, and another one this evening, just before it started raining. I listened to a story by Ruth Prawer Jhabvala; talked to my godmother on the phone; listened to four homilies on the Samaritan Woman, three of them from previous years and one given fresh this morning. It seems a whole book could be written about the history, psychology and Christology of this passage of scripture, Christ’s encounter with the woman at Jacob’s well. As with many of the lessons, the preparation I do is rich food for my own heart — but I often feel ill prepared to teach about it.

I sat in the garden a bit, and thought about small things that are lovable. Those olive flower buds I mentioned last week, and other tender new growth and flowers I’ve seen here and in the neighborhood. The landscape is already filling out, and it’s only May — which means the mass of foliage and living, breathing botany has yet to reach its summer peak of green-and-fruity.

My grandson Jamie is not little the same way, but he’s still not half-grown, and I have this cute picture. He’s one of the California grandchildren, of which there are only three, so I saw him in March when I was up there.

I bought a hanging pot of succulents last summer, and had to keep it in the greenhouse over winter. It’s kind of a scruffy jumble, but two of the three plants in it have flowers now, which is nice.


mock orange

I was mistaken about the dear little things in the birdhouse: they are not bluebirds, but chickadees! It’s so obvious now, in this picture taken eight days after my last.

I’ve been busy like a bee in the garden. But if it rains tomorrow, maybe I will read more, and write about books…? Good night, Dear Readers! May God give us restful hearts. If we are sleeping, may it be deep and renewing; if we are awake, may our work make us tired with that good kind of fatigue that helps us go to sleep again, in peace. Amen.

12 thoughts on “Dear little things.

  1. Good night, dear writer. God be with you. By the way, the homily that I heard today about the Samaritan woman led to the use of half a box of tissues.

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  2. It is the little things around us that can bring us great joy if we open our hearts to them. Thank you for reminding us about the goodness and the healing bounty of nature.

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  3. Beautiful icon. My 4 year old really likes looking at your grandson! He said “I have a cowboy hat, and I like his shirt!” Chaps even! Cute.

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  4. I’ve been busy as a bee today too. Both inside and in the garden. Now I have a short break before it’s time to think about supper.

    Your baby birds are sweet no matter what kind they are. Your little cowboy grandson is also very cute!!

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  5. Your comment about the screens getting to you resonated. My aunt and I tried video chatting, but neither of us liked it. It seemed to increase the distance between us, rather than bridging it. We’ve gone back to phone calls, and they’re far more satisfactory. As for Zoom, I can’t bring myself to engage in it. If I had an office job or wanted to keep up with a class, I suppose I’d adjust, and adapt it as a tool. But now? I can’t find any reason for it. I tend to think that, just because I can do something, it doesn’t mean I should do something.

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  6. As someone mentioned, there’s something about phone calls that works better than the artifice of videocall. Hopefully we’ll all be back to face to face soon and can relax back into simple phone calls when that’s not an option. Maybe the ears don’t mind how they get their sound but the eyes evaluate image differently… Thank you as always for your beautiful prose, dear friend!

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  7. Your close-up photos of these small things are so exquisite. And the baby birds! I’ve enjoyed their pictures on FB. They are adorable. Soon they’ll be flying away. I wonder if that spot will be used year after year?
    It’s so true that preparing a Scripture lesson is both enriching and healing as one does it. The virus has not robbed me of my peace, but I do think my husband’s lengthy illness these last 3 months has entirely stripped me of my ability to cope or sleep well, and my nerves are absolutely raw. I find it difficult to do many things I used to do, including read or study. Even gardening is difficult now. Your garden looks very peaceful.

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