I enjoy the strange progression of little things in our life.
My wife and I bought a house, our first house. As we perused through the boxes of stuff we had accumulated and not thrown away, I noticed a small whiteboard that hangs on a wall or a fridge. It was a little thing, still in the plastic wrap, about half the size of a piece of printer paper.
It sat on a table for a time while we organized our kitchen, and then it moved to our bookshelf and then over time it made its way to a pile of stuff that needed to be taken to the basement to be stored. One morning, when I woke up, I found it in this pile next to the stairs and I decided to rescue it from its doomed existence in a cardboard prison.
I unwrapped the whiteboard and stuck it on the fridge.
I could have just as easily taken it to the basement with the other things that have no place, but I chose to make use of it.
The whole thing is silly really. I mean, here in America, we have so much stuff that we literally put stuff we don’t need but might need later in boxes for our spiders to crawl on. Even our spiders are spoiled Americans.
Of course, once the white board was up it had to have a purpose, so I deemed it’s purpose would be to creep out my wife. I conjured my artistic prowess (which usually involves stick figures) and made my best attempt at a strange and creepy face with an over sized nose, and I left for work.
For a week the face stood idle. I commented on it to my wife who said she was not startled by it at all, and thought it looked silly. And a few more days passed.
Then one morning I woke up and walked down the stairs to make some breakfast, expecting to be greeted by this face, but instead I saw my wife had done something special. She wrote two words in big block print, a reminder to us both.
“Be Thankful!” it said.
From that day forward the whiteboard greets me every morning for breakfast. It reminds me of something small, something important. It reminds be to be thankful for my fridge, and for my wife, and for my house, and for my kitchen, and my family of pets that I adore so much. In two words, it begins a slideshow of a thousand images in my head.
A week or so later, i added to the message in tiny letters below it (with my terrible handwriting). I wrote the words
“In all things – great and small”
Because if she hadn’t brought that whiteboard up from the basement, and if it hadn’t moved from the table to the bookshelf to the pile of stuff that needed to go back into the basement, and if i hadn’t decided to make a use of something that was excess, something without purpose, then I wouldn’t be greeted by this message every morning.
The power of little things never ceases to amaze me.