I walked through the park today and trod through the heavy scent of marigolds. Ruffling along the edges of the walkway, their perfume matched the weight of the heat but from them both, I rose. I rose to memories of my granny, a long while gone now but still ever-present.
And as I reminisced, I realised that my memories of her are scattered and small, mere fragments of a childhood spent in her family. I remember her china doll on the mantle piece that wobbled when chubby kids’ fingers prodded her to life. I remember the single day, push-button desk calendar and how it felt to click it from yesterday to today. I can hear echoes of her padding steps past the room I used to sleep in, waiting for the click of the kettle and then 5 minutes before getting up to wish her a good morning.
I get all of that from flowers that I’m pretty sure we grew, not her, but they come from the same time/space in my brain and it all brings me smiles.
As I walked back through the park this evening, I wondered how we find the balance. Sometimes we get so caught up in the little things, we get lost in the whirly-gig of atoms and forget to see the bigger picture. And sometimes, we are so hell-bent on getting to that very precise spot on the far horizon upon which we are utterly fixated. And either way, we have passengers with us on out journeys. Some travel long and hard with us, some slip in and out of existence as easily as clouds across the sky. But those passengers have stories too, and we may be included in them. And it’s the shared stories that bring us a sense of connection and belonging in this world.
And the most compelling stories are couched in the tiniest of moments: when I was ill in the car…on her, when she introduced me to Marmite on Weetabix (I know, but I still love it), pouring leftover tea onto the balcony plants and sharing a giant Yorkshire pudding with her. So I guess my point of bringing the marigolds to you on the brink of 2015 is this. If our best stories, most cherished connections are over the little things, so too are the hurts and pain. So welcome in the New Year tending to the tiny. The cups of tea and the ‘I love you’s for no reason. Do one small thing that you’ve been meaning to do, then do it again the next day. Show your beautiful quirks. Never underestimate the power of a token gesture. And above all, try to find a giggle in a roadblock, a rainbow in a stormy sky. Not only for you, but for those you journey with you into a brand new year.