The Power of Little Things

Mulling any subject for a time is like having a stone in your shoe. Every step then becomes a reminder that this little biddy stone is, in fact, a corner stone and that it is good to pay attention to the power of little things.

Phrases posted on Facebook, June 2023

Some oriental rugs have a sublime pattern. There is a prerequisite in them that a small fault be woven into the pattern for two reasons. The first is the understanding that only God makes things perfect and human beings can’t. The second is because the small fault is actually needed to reveal the holy pattern. I’ve loved knowing this about oriental rugs, but I love it more as a wisdom I can mull. Do you think that our small (maybe not so small) human faults are somehow essential in some way to reveal the beauty that is inherent in life?
The little periods between thoughts, ends of sentences, in scripture, death certificates, divorce documents, love letters, just and unjust law decrees and rapturous poems are small and dark like buck shot or poppy seeds. Those punctuation marks are powerful and can stop an unthinking flow and change the course of things. Such pauses may sometimes even cause despair or be new beginnings. I want to keep my pockets full of them. I am not imagining things. Periods are great with power! Did you see the one in the exclamation point?
To smile at all babies we meet is a small and great thing. Babies experience the world “before thinking” so whatever comes into their experience of life goes deeply into them. If strangers are experienced as friendly, what a legacy that can be for their future.
To be inwardly spacious is no small thing! It’s hard to achieve. I like to practice by having one small surface in my home kept without anything on it – not one single thing! For me, that emptiness is a visual reminder. But believe me, keeping even a small surface for spaciousness alone is not easy. I keep finding myself putting something there because it’s handy just the way I might put a thought or reaction inside me instead of simply being open. If you decide to practice this you will find how difficult having space for spaciousness can be.
Chose one small thing in your home to focus on. Let it be something you care about. Give it a place of honor in whatever way best suits you. Thank it for being. Once a day, intuitively listen to it as if it had something important to share. You may hear nothing, but keep it up on a daily basis. At the very least you will sense that in doing this your small object will become more real to you (like the velveteen rabbit) and as a consequence of your relationship to it you will become more real also.
Often it is not the big, dramatic things that reach us deeply. It is usually something small; exquisite that hones deeply into our being. Though small, it can steer us throughout life. It’s a knowing and being known, not thinking. The mere touch of it awakens us again and again and reminds us of whom we are in an essential way.
I learned an awesome fact some time ago. Did you know that if two aphids and their progeny (remember they are miniscule) reproduced without interruption could with time destroy life on the planet? I was floored by how powerful a little thing can be in a destructive process. But then, why wouldn’t a little positive thing as easily be powerful? What if everyone one of us did something small consistently to nurture the planet, wouldn’t we in time live in heavenly wellness?
Meister Eckhart said that if the only prayer we ever said was thank you, it would be enough. When a mystic can state with authority that one small thank you is plenty, it must be so and we can trust that. Lots of little thanks all day long wouldn’t be bad either.
The theme of “little is enough” is worthy of contemplation. We know “more is not enough”. Too much actually takes us into emptiness. But small right things are soulful and more than enough.
It is not a small thing to shut a door gently. Things come to an end. I believe that the way we end things is the atmosphere in which new things can begin. Taking care is never small.
There is a saying you’ve probably heard . . . “God is in the details”. If we believe that, then the smallest details are doing big things. Ours is not to underestimate what little things are able to do.
I remember vividly a time when I and my partner who had Parkinson’s disease attended a dance class for those who suffered the disease. A friend in the class stood up from his wheelchair for the first time in months. His eyes were streaming. All our eyes were streaming. To him it was a miracle. To stand up at all may seem a little thing, but, in fact, it is a miracle even when you can do it easily.
Referring back to my last post, I like to think back over my day and pick out small, seemingly insignificant things and bring them to awareness. They made up a lot of the day that I’ll never live again and I don’t want to take any of it for
It was Julian of Norwich who valiantly declared that the smallest thing would not be forgotten. I find it a wonderful comfort to remember that whenever I feel small and overwhelmed.