The Little Things

It’s the little things. The way my mom and sister close the door gently after saying goodnight. They produce, as Elsa Gildow once wrote, “so much sweetness yet little was done, little was said.” Shutting the door to cause an average decibel would not admit the same warm, comfortable feeling that shutting the door softly does. I lay and watch as they take the extra time to put one hand on the doorknob and the other gently against the door as if to slow the unforeseen aggression of the doorknob-occupied hand. While their footsteps echo down the hallway, I remember the last thing I heard.

“Goodnight. I love you.”

It’s the little things. A plum tree once stood in front of my old house. Once stood, it has since been cut down by the new owners. How could they cut down something so giving? Something that was enjoyed by many? The plum tree “could have grown eighty feet tall on the side of a mountain,” but instead it stay the same height for as long as I was living alongside it. Thriving beforehand it was given no chance to grow without me. Sitting in front of a once happy home. The representation of my happy home torn down as that home become not so happy and that family become separated. Now, like many things, it only exists as a memory to me and a few select others lucky enough to have such a giving and alive item part of their life.

It’s the little things. Every morning I pick up my friend on the way to school just as her brother got picked up by his best friend each morning years prior. She’s overly understanding when I don’t want to talk, or am rude for no reason. Sometimes I’m not the biggest morning person. She’s understanding when I simply want to walk through the entrance gates in silence. She understands when I’m skipping with joy alongside her, this is typically on either of our birthdays. But, days comparing are few and far between in comparison. Already close, this interaction every day has brought us closer. She is able to read me, how I’m feeling, and react accordingly. There are not many people I know that would alter the course of their day to accompany another’s mood, but she would. Recently, with night approaching faster and faster each day and winter almost upon us, we’re “not really saying anything…It’s just the connection.” 

These little things are all deeply read into. I’m sure these noticeable memories and interactions appear minuscule to most, but they’ve shaped parts of me that overanalyze. Noticing things is a blessing and a curse. Able to notice the most incredible moments and items, I smile more often than I would not seeking that dopamine. Able to notice heart-wrenching moments and items, I make something not wanting to be remembered into a bigger deal than necessary causing a memory that will last a lifetime. Though I try not to dwell on the past, it seems impossible not to. Either replaying the past or fantasizing about the future, rarely am I in the present moment. 

Why is it always little things? I often wonder why something life-changing can’t happen to me, good or bad. The mundane day I live over and over is starting to become less and less appealing with the energy to make something happen crawling, in an attempt to keep up, far behind me. The constant ups and downs are always caused by the little things so what’s the good in noticing them? Are they worth my memories? These questions are ones I’m not sure will ever be answered but I sit in wonderment waiting for my want to make something happen to catch up after I’ve now called my recently high school graduated, college student sister to say goodnight reminiscing the way her gentle hands used to close my door.

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