The Little Things.
October 10, 2008

Elizardbeth (one of the resident “little things”.)

One of the things I love about being a writer is the intensity that comes with the writing mind. Always ticking, turning, whirring, we deconstruct life in order to recreate life in our work. You could say we study life itself, and then report back to the page. We tell the things we need to tell, most likely always aware of a need to tell, to capture, to record, bending time and space to create our new worlds of words.

I find this writing and creative life, on the flip side, also requires a lot of alone time, time thinking and reflecting, daydreaming, even. That’s when the little things really come into focus, the small details that add joy and texture to our days (and our writing), along with the people, places and things that make life sweet and worthwhile.

It’s especially why I love the weekends. The weekends are all about the little things — not so much writing, unless inspiration strikes, but the little moments in life, in my life, that happen off the page.

Like how, last weekend, when I began the usual afternoon ritual of hoof-picking Cloud, he unexpectedly lifted his foot for me and held it in the air. He then proceeded to do the same with the remaining three.

Coming from Cloud, a slaughter-bound horse who came to the ranch underweight, grumpy, and distrustful after so many broken bonds, I was floored.

I can’t quite put the feeling into words; I’ve been trying all morning, yet I come up woefully short. It’s the feeling of a wary, distrustful animal handing over its heart for safekeeping. You almost expect to hear a sigh of relief follow, as the horse’s muscles visibly relax. After almost a year of patient reassurances, good old Cloudy was finally home.

I get a lot of dog play-time in on weekends, which means I’ll do a lot of laughing. On weekend mornings, the sun is peach-colored and slow to rise, and often a cool breeze blows through the desert like an apology for summer.

The songbirds are beginning to arrive in flocks from places grown colder, singing into the evening. Also, the butterflies are back, as they are every year, and I stand still next to where they land, willing them to land on me. Supposedly, when you’re still enough inside, they will.

Saturday and Sunday mornings are the only days I don’t need to jump out of bed immediately, hurrying off to feed hungry horses and dogs, each a hair-covered alarm clock set for early breakfast. Therefore, my favorite part of the weekend has to be the carefree, lazy mornings sipping coffee in bed and reading blogs in my pajamas.

I hope your weekend is filled with all the little things that make you laugh and smile. Sometimes it can be hard to shift gears after whirring through the work week, and other times things are tough in so many ways that it’s hard to let go and enjoy the moment. Yet when we don’t, especially during the tough times, we end up feeling worse.

So, slow down. Do something fun. Laugh hard, and make it a weekend to remember. 

 

Cloud and Mr. Bean

(Two horses saved from slaughter.)

Photos by Emily Murdoch