Thursday, May 13, 2010

The Power of Little Things

So many disasters happen every day in the world!  Besides the devastation in Haiti and the war in Afghanistan, the bombings in Iraq, the killing of the children in China, the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, the conflict in Thailand, and so many other atrocious news stories, we have many reasons to feel that we are a very fragile, a most vulnerable specie.  We, humans, are at the mercy of the next event and it makes us contemplate the little things that bring a light to our eyes and that can create an inward smile.

I had a friend who used to tell me “Don’t touch that plate, doing the dishes is my meditation!”  Now every day as I do the dishes I think of her and indeed the dishes have become my meditation also.  The water flows, the detergent is running down the sponge and my mind is far away, lost in bliss.

Some little things are more potent than strong discourses; like waking up and while still under the covers, warm from the night, I feel the joy of being alive and I imagine myself sending love to all I know and all I will meet.  This is a moment of pure bliss that transports me to visit my friends and family even though only through my senses.

I am never too busy to water the plants and as I do so, I marvel at each new leaf, the growth reaching for the ceiling and a miracle, the buds on one my orchids.  I anticipate the blooms and the beauty that it promises and the colored petals freshly arching toward me.

I love to take a break from my studio and watch the birds on the deck.  They come to eat, of course, but the collared doves just linger as a pair on the railing and even look straight at me and make me wonder.

Life is full of disasters and horrible crimes but it is also full of beauty for us to absorb and let travel slowly through our soul.
What about the simplicity of a smile from a total stranger at the super market; the minute power of such an innocent gesture so endearing and so life affirming?  It freshens my mood and resets my day very much for the better.

There is also the strength of the written word.  A simple and marvelous comment on my blog or an email filled with words that embrace each other and make the marvel of a sentence.  For me, a real delight.

As I look at my computer I find the news from a dear friend and I transport to their window with a photo of a tree, a flower, or a precious pet and best of all a new child in the family or a cherished grandkid.

And of course there is the presence of the one we love, the hand encircling ours, the pure pleasure of being together and laughing at the same funny thing.

The list could continue over miles of paper or a lot of memory on my laptop.  The truth is that each person has his or her own secret joy that is offered by very simple but potent things.  We are aware of those things or we aren’t.  For me, bringing my total focus on these little happenings is relief from death and disease, wars and world news.

So next time I do the dishes I will let my thought go to sleep and it will be once again my meditation. Think of what is the little things that makes you marvel at the world and laugh.   I’ll bet you have a long list already.

2010 Copyright Micheline Brierre 


  1. I admire the way you pick up on little things in daily living that many of us take for granted. You have the enviable ability to bring them alive with your detail of feelings and emotions. Whether it's preparing for an Art Show, meditating in the menial chore of washing dishes or opening your eyes and your heart to a "purr" in the night. Don't stop.

  2. Yes indeed the little things are all around us, we just have to be aware and recognize them and enjoy them. This morning I went to the adobe house of a friend of mine in the desert and since all the wild flowers are in bloom it was exquisite, even the smallest flower was sooooo special to admire. Some people think the desert is boring...they are so wrong, it's so pretty and full of just have to look at the little things all around you. Nothing like the desert breeze to fill your day with happiness.
    Micheline, in LC