Was the original choice of name for my blog, because I had that perennial stocking toe stuffer in mind: the liquorice sweets we enjoyed as children – crunchy, multicolored thingummies which used to release a burst of invigorating flavour as one chewed happily on candy brought by a thoughtful Santa. The name, apparently, was already taken and so I settled for the present moniker. But the itch for my original title remains and so it heads my thoughts for the day and, given the randomness of this post, rather appropriately.
Here, in India, it’s already the 31st, the last day of the year. A time to give thanks for the year gone by: we have experienced joy in the ‘ups’ and have, hopefully, been refined by the ‘downs’. Looking back on the bad times from today is like looking down the wrong end of a telescope: bad times are neither small nor insignificant but, because we have weathered them and because they are now in the past, we can view them with relief and let them go. The good times, on the other hand, stand out, magnified, bringing back the rush of elation of the original moment.
I didn’t win a lottery and my highs may seem insignificant to some, but as in the words of the song, ‘Little things mean a lot’.
For example, the lady who takes collection greets every member of the congregation with a wide smile and an unspoken ‘thank-you’. Such a small thing, but the corresponding smile is still on my face several hours later. Since collection is taken only on Sundays, this is a weekly gift. 52 uplifting smiles!
Then there is the local rag-picker. A not so elderly, solidly built woman, she settles down at the edge of the pavement to catch her breath after the exertion of rummaging through the garbage dump. She immediately attracts the local dogs and she lovingly strokes and murmurs to each one. They nudge and nuzzle her. The conversation may be a 'silent' one, but the shared affection is very apparent. We exchange smiles, hers contented, mine happy. A vignette to remember.
As I type this, I listen to the songs of Christmas in MP3 format compiled by a thoughtful niece. The music ranges from the nostalgic Jim Reeves to the foot tapping Country and Western to the traditional and classic rendered by various Church choirs. A little gesture but such a joy-filled gift. There is nothing like music to give you that special lift!
Then I remember friends who have been so supportive and encouraging. They range from those who have leant a listening ear, to those who have actively extended a helping hand, to those that have kept me occupied and out of the devil’s workshop. It feels good that I do not have to look very far for a good deed to be done or to earn my blessings!!
An item in today’s paper says that thinking young, doing young things, keeps you young. For the better part of the year, my students let me into their very happening lives and, for a while, I felt like sixty going on twenty: hopefully, the after effect will linger. A well developed sense of the ridiculous and also the inclination to mischief (of the nice kind) add spice to the everyday, the routine. The church cat and dog were mewing and woofing in unison, reminding anyone who was prepared to listen that supper was late. I added my bit with that old party favorite ‘How dry we are’ which almost certainly got the parlour boy’s attention. I will probably go down in local folklore as one of the parish eccentrics. Oh well, ‘fame’ at any price is still fame – don’t knock it!!
The time and the ability to read and a bountiful supply of books are also blessings for which I give thanks. The bonus? The library sent me two gift vouchers for a meal at McDonalds. One never knows where a book will take you, literally or figuratively!!
Little things, inconsequential things. But, added up, they are like the loaves and fishes multiplied.
To paraphrase the song that put my thoughts in motion:
Throw me a smile from across the room,
Say I look nice when I’m not;
Stop to chat when you cross my path
Little things mean a lot.
Give me your hand when I’ve lost the way,
Give me your shoulder to cry on;
Whether the day is sunny or gray,
Give me a heart to rely on.
Send me a mail, forwards will do
It’s not the deed, it’s the thought:
For now and forever, that's always and ever
Little things do mean a lot.
AND MAY ALL THE LOVELY LITTLE THINGS THAT HAPPEN TO YOU ADD UP TO ONE BIG FAT HAPPY MEMORY!!