Bits and Pieces

For years I’ve carried a pad of paper in the back seat of my car and a tiny notebook in my tote bag just in case I stumble upon a moment I want to remember. These moments are often so small and seemingly insignificant they risk getting lost in the clutter of my mind, yet they speak to a place inside of me that recognizes “special” even in its briefest form. I can only liken it to the sensation when a butterfly lands on my finger for a just a heartbeat, or a hummingbird stops inches from my face to stare me in the eyes and then is gone in a zip of wings.

Here are a few such moments:

Spider: The tires of my dusty orange VW Bug flatten dried oak leaves that carpet the parking lot. The leaves crackle and snap like blazing kindling. I park in the shade, turn off the engine, and roll the window down to capture a trickle of breeze. The scent in the air jogs a potpourri of olfactory memories from childhood, a mixture of the spray starch my mother used to use when ironing that made a scorched smell, and bubbling tar, and dust, and rhubarb snapped fresh from the garden.

Tumbling from an overhanging branch, a small brown spider drops with a soundless plop onto the hood of my car. Gathering herself together into a wobbly stance, she glares through the windshield at me with an “I meant to do that” stare, and staggers off on long spindly legs.

Ant: As I bend down to the water arcing from the fountain at the end of the trail, my eye fixes on a small cluster of twigs, the color of autumn wheat in Iowa, caught in the drain grid. There is a black spot on one twig that I imagine is a nothing more than a clump of dirt.

The cool water ripples over my dry lips and quenches my hiker’s thirst. Drawing back, I notice the speck of dirt move, showing itself to be an ant. I apologize to the ant for my mistake. It shrugs its minuscule black shoulder as if to suggest it is used to being mistaken for a bit of dirt, and slips quietly beneath the spongy end of a twig. I feel curiously saddened.

Flower Power: They sway in the breeze, three sisters sharing a communal terra cotta pot, Coral, Rose, and Angora Sweater Pink. Like wrong-colored daisies, they reach, bend toward the sun, and beckon a low-flying iridescent hummingbird, seducing her with their vibrancy.

Eyes closed, the neighbor’s tiger-striped cat bats gently with soft paws at dream birds in her sleep as she lies curled around the pot on the warm brick patio.


  1. Kimberly says:


    So many wonderful, wonderful stories. I just love your blog. The writing is alluring, the messages inspiring, the descriptions mesmerizing, but most of all the beauty of your soul shining through never fails to take my breath away.