Wednesday, November 12, 2008

on being small

I am not a tall person. By most measuring tapes, I barely reach five feet. I am a small person living in a large world. I've often thought that my personality makes up the difference. I can be very loud. Chip says that I have the power to cause earthquakes (when combined with the right force, namely, THE WIFE). Regardless of these large things about me, I feel small. And many times, I worry that the thoughts I express here, in this small space, are also very small. I don't have grand ideas or expansive plans. I don't talk politics. I don't expand horizons or renew anyone's faith in anything. My blog description could read: Small thoughts from a small person.

This small stuff worries me. I worry about what I should be telling you. What I should be sharing. I worry that my small posts will slip in and out of minds like the airy little bits that they are, and will never affect change in any way. That's sort of the problem with small, I guess.

I was meditating on small thoughts tonight, and visited a blog I've been reading since August: this one, which... I don't know where to start. There is beauty there - intense, ragged. It comes from real pain, real sacrifice, and true grace. This woman - this family - is one that I admire beyond telling. But I simply can't hope to live life on this big of a scale because: oh dear - have you seen what this woman writes, HOW this woman writes? She is beyond inspirational. As is often the case, when I've finished reading one of her entries, I feel even smaller than before. As is also usually the case, I vow to change. I vow to live more intentionally, be more outspoken, beautify and magnify my life, allow myself to grow beyond these small walls.

Tonight, though, I am sitting here at my computer and reconsidering this concept of small. I think I've been unfair to small. I overlooked small's ability to affect change. I forgot about the smallest grains of sand, and their journey to becoming pearls. I forgot about the smallest speck of life that Alice was on those first few days of her existence, and the beautiful girl she has become - the woman of grace I hope for her to be. Small is how we all start. It's the building block of every living thing. Small is a beginning. Hope grows from a small seed. As does faith. Small is the first few rays of the rising sun, the night light in my little girl's room, the wish we make when we tell each other good night. We have small hopes, small dreams, small desires to see the new day, to grow old with our family, to see each other through even the darkest times. I'm giving new credit to small.

When you witness something big, it can be too much-- too easy to overlook and say that it was a miracle and therefore not intended for you. A Big Life is like this, I guess. We are drawn to Big Lives because they are so wonderfully vibrant, so incredible, so much beyond what we see for ourselves. There's a reason people use the phrase larger than life, because that's how Large feels: something that I'll never be, something I'll never achieve, a person I'll never become because it's just too... BIG. But small... small is achievable. Small is one step. Small is doing something different today than you did yesterday. Small things-- they are here in our everyday lives waiting for us to notice them and witness that this is how God tells us every day I love you - open your eyes - I love you this much.
Tonight, I'm grateful to be small in a big world. I am giving thanks to my Heavenly Father for this small gift.


The Wife said...

Friend, you are neither large nor small, only lovely.

And I am always happy to be a catalyst for your largess.

I love you more than you know. I wouldn't have you any way other than how you are.

Alice said...

i feel the opposite way.. i'm tall, and ungainly, and as far from petite as i can get. most guys i date comment that they're used to little pixie girls. i feel like i crash through life like a slightly modified godzilla ;-)

tearese said...

I too have had past issues with being to tall, gangly, awkward. I loved your essay on smallness; we all need to appreciate who we are. I know what you blog feels insignificant often.

serenity now said...

Another tall, awkward girl here who has, incidentally, felt small at many times in her life. I'm not talking stature, of course. Small, tall--sometimes it's a state of mind. And I think I'd rather live a small life as you describe it (full of wonder at daily miracles and mercies that are often overlooked) than a large one. Large life = overwhelming, too busy.