It’s the little things.
My child, older now, video calls.
Can we go to the garden centre together? I want to buy some plants; will you help me choose?
It’s the little things like:
The pointing out of names.
Geraniums, you’re also looking for Pelargoniums. They’re the same plant.
A little thing, but she didn’t know. I did so I passed it on.
Look for both names, I say.
I help her choose.
White? Or pink? Which one do you like best?
Will they last?
Yes, if you water them every now and then.
We observe the little things:
Like how to remove the old flowers to encourage new growth. Like the surprise of a small bud.
Like twenty percent off at the till, because it’s a bank holiday.
The little things are looking forward, together. Making plans. Little ones, like pointing out the burger van on our way to the car… shall we go next time?
It is the little things that are the most important.
Like walking by her side. Like holding her arm and remembering her first steps at thirteen months. She had blonde curls at the nape of her neck. A stork mark underneath that would flush an angry red when she cried. I wonder, is it still there?
So much time and so many little things have passed, and they went by very fast, when my attention was stolen. When my journey was frozen in time.
If i hadn’t found my way out, would she have gone alone to buy plants? Wondered about seasons and sunlight, annuals, and herbaceous borders? Who would she have made little plans with?
That thought of it makes me want to weep.
I focus on the little things that remind me I’m living: that make me feel alive.
It is the little things that are insignificant yet so momentous. I must hang on to each one. Write it. Document it. Remember it, to make up for the little things I lost when I was present and absent. A million miles away. When there was layer upon layer of thick glass between me and The World. When I was lost in the fog, when I loved her, I loved her so much, but I couldn’t find her, because I couldn’t find me.