on 14 June 2014

I have been thinking about the little things and how things come back around again, if only we wait long enough.

We're staying with my sister right now.  My lovely eldest sister.  And perhaps you don't know this, but it was she who taught me to sing and to love music.  She was the pianist for our little congregation when we were kids, so all week long she would practice the hymns for the next Sunday, and I'm sure I pestered her to no end because I was her shadow, but a wiggling, chatty, annoying shadow. 

And here's the good part, instead of brushing me off, instead of stomping off in a huff, instead of banishing me as was perfectly justifiable, she pulled me up on the piano bench next to her while she practiced, and she taught me to sing out the words at the right time and sort of in the vicinity of the right note.  My happiest memories from my happy childhood were made on that piano bench right next to her.  She is everything smart and talented and beautiful and I wanted to be JUST like her.  My favorite hymns today, are still the ones that she and I sang regularly in those couple of years before she left home.

So tonight, I was sitting and knitting on my daughter's interminable sweater for next fall and I heard the halting notes coming from my sister's piano downstairs.  And just as though it were yesterday, I started to sing quietly along.  But this time the Boy was asking me, "What song is that, Mama?"  And I would tell him and sing along for a bit.  Then the song would change and I continued to sing along quietly as she played, half longing to go and sit on the bench beside her as I had done as a small child, and half afraid that if I did so, she would stop playing.

Looking back from the great distance of 34 years, it seems like such a little thing.  To let a child sit next to you while you practice as needed, but for the child it was such a big thing.  A momentous thing.  A thing that made her Great in my eyes.  It makes me wonder about the little things in my own life, the opportunities missed or misjudged and how do I learn to look with better eyes so that I recognize them when they come? 

She has wept with me when I have felt defeated and she has celebrated with me on those few occasions when I triumph, including when both of my wee babes were born (though the picture is of my little daughter).

When I think about the things that mean most to me in the world, not a single one of them is currently in our storage unit.  And they all of them have names:  Christopher and my Boy and my Girl and my Sisters and brother, my Parents and my friends.  The sad thing is, that I think most of us take these people for granted so often that they come to resemble the little things in life, when in reality, there is nothing Greater.


Brett M said...

This is lovely, and oh, how right you are. My family is visiting me right now and even though it's loud and messy and crazy, I wouldn't trade any of it for anything. Having wonderful people in our lives is such a blessing. I'm so glad to have YOU in my life. I love you lots.

Unknown said...

With summer bliss ahead of me, I can step back and appreciate the joys of motherhood to it's fullest capacity. It has been a challenging feat to accept my "working mom" status, and one in which I struggle with greatly. Knowing it is what my family needs right now does not always make the longing to be a stat at home mom cease. But for these few short weeks, I can step back and enjoy my family and friends and life with a little less distraction and with a renewed sense of faith and strength. Your words resonate within me. The greatest thing I've ever done calls me Mama. Cliche? No doubt. But I am grateful for the small moments that keep me hoping. Loving. Happy.