Life is something not to miss / The taste of ice cream, your first kiss / And when love takes your hand

“As I write I am aware that my memory has made much out of very little.” – Marilynne Robinson, Gilead

I read that, and I thought, “Don’t we all do that?” To me, it seems that so much of what I value in life is small. You can browse the archives here and see that that’s what I write about – in the past couple of weeks I have talked about the beauty of laughter and the joys of late-night frosty runs and praying in the church bathroom. Not the most important things in the world, but parts of life that are important to remember, because without them life is more . . . ordinary. And those are the things we remember, all the way back to childhood. Playing catch in the yard, walks on the beach, board games, sweet tea on a hot day . . . a million little unimportant things that make up the patterns of our lives.

Maybe I write about those things because I don’t want to forget them. I don’t want to lose that wide-eyed wonder at the taste of homemade ice cream, or forget the Sunday afternoons spent reading (and napping) in the sun. Maybe I make much out of very little (as seen sometimes when I ask my dad, “Remember the time . . . ?” and he doesn’t), but I’m okay with that. I think Kathleen Kelly found the truth when she said, “All this nothing means so much more to me than so many somethings.”

This isn’t exactly the same thing, but it reminds me of how much more my quilt meant to me after my mom and Aunt Nancy pointed out the fabric they remembered. And how much it meant to see the house where Grandma was born and where mom grew up. How much the little details I know and remember about Great-Grandma mean to me. How much I enjoy finding out new things about Mike.

Maybe life isn’t in the details, because who wants to believe a cliche? But those details complete the picture, giving it color and vibrancy and focus.

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