So many moments brush passed us like busy shoppers on a sidewalk. We may register them, but they slip away. Even when they hold simple pleasures that make us smile or small revelations that make us think, we only offer our hats or a nod of our heads as appreciation, then scurry off down our respective paths. Sometimes, if we are lucky we recall them again, perhaps bringing them up later in conversation to a friend or spouse, the way we might say, “hey, I saw so and so today.” But often we just forget.
Something about this seems sad. Photography helps and writing, each offering us a chance to capture these small moments and give them their due. Sometimes a camera is not always ready, so lately I have taken to sketching as well.
The thing about these moments, the reason so many drift away, is that they may not be big or profound, they may lack lasting impact, seem rather ordinary, but like puzzle pieces with strange corners and edges, these are the things that fit together in the end to make up our lives.
So, here are a few of the things I saw this week: a cerulean shadow of trees cast on the hood of my parent’s white Honda and the deeper shadow of me photographing it. Birds nests, everywhere, until I’m left wondering if they are some special sign, secret words whispered by the universe, speaking of home. And, this weekend on Saturday, when I went to drop some photos off at a gallery for an upcoming holiday show, I saw a Fiesta Squirrel.
I was on my cellphone with my brother when I saw it – a big, fat squirrel in a full out run, prize in his hands, galloping for home. When I spotted him he was in mid-leap, jumping like a bionic man off a picnic table someone had decorated with streamers and colored tablecloth in festive colors –“ I just saw a Fiesta Squirrel,” I declared matter-of-factly to my brother and then we both burst into laughter.
“It’s one of those days,” he deadpanned.
I would have forgotten about the squirrel, I think, if I hadn’t found a photo today that I snapped of the table. The photo is blurry as the memory would soon have become. I decided instead to sketch it tonight. Not a big moment in my life and I could have gone on with it stored in the recesses of memory, but at the time I saw this happy creature, he made me pause in what had been a hectic day. He elicited laughter. He made me feel good, so perhaps I should remember him after all. Perhaps these are the memories I should hold over grudges and worries and big celebratory feats. If God is in the details I would do well to remember cerulean shadows, waiting birds nests, and Fiesta Squirrels.
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Writing Prompt: What details did you pass by today you might like to recall later? Write about them.