It’s the little things that tell my story. For instance, see these rocks and shells? I gathered them during low tide on a cloudy day at the beginning of November. I love the white stones, but more than that, I love that shell with a hole drilled into it by a vicious snail or some other sea creature. And the little shell on the left? I love its faint lavender color and its swirly shape.
But the story is not in the gathering of the shells.
No. The story here is the fact that these shells–and a few others plucked from the beach on another day–sit in a jumble on my dresser, surrounded by a smattering of sand. I see them every morning and yet, I just haven’t made time to put them in a glass jar or . . . some place.
It’s silly, isn’t it? I am collecting shells a few at a time when I live so near the beach. But I can’t resist a perfect shell or a unique shape or color. A brilliant white stone catches my eye. How can I not pick it up and stick it into my pocket?
My whole life and house is a depository for little things that caught my attention or need my attention or slipped my attention.
Meanwhile, the urgent big things demand my immediate action. Chores demand my time because for some reason, everyone wants to wear clean pants every day. And they want dinner! Oh, how they want dinner every single day! I manage my life on a macro level–we are all clothed and fed–but the rest of life? The details?
If you cannot clamor, you get ignored around here. I’m talking to you, craft projects and unfinished novel and broken sewing machine and messy laundry room and coat closet containing coats we never wear because who wears coats in southern California?
Oh, I don’t know. Am I just rambling?
I guess the point here is that I’m not juggling things as much as I’m shuffling them around, ignoring them and rushing through them, depending on their level of importance. And the little things are abandoned more often than not. I don’t like that but I have faith and hope that one day, I’ll move those shells and clean up the sand and find inspiration to write a Christmas letter and put that beach towel away and put the Christmas bows by the Christmas wrapping paper and find a frame for that photo of my grandma and sort through my digital pictures and print out the best ones and paint all those picture frames in the garage black and sort through this stack of papers on my desk and you know. Get it together.
In the meantime, tomorrow I’m seeing a doctor about my foot. I think I damaged my Achilles tendon (walking on the beach, of all things!). And I have a cold. (But I’m going to the doctor because of my foot, not the cold. I find walking to be sort of a requirement of my daily life.)
And really, all I want to do is lie in bed and read Unbroken (oh my goodness, the Kindle version is only $2.99–you will want to buy that, if you have a Kindle and you haven’t read the book already–the movie will be released on Christmas Day and you’ll want to read the book before then!).
It’s the little things that make life worth living, right? Which is why I collect shells and read books.