Thursday, January 10, 2013

Small Can Be Quite Beautiful

The Pink Perfections are blooming now, they are like candy, like something too sweet to bear in this life.

All of a sudden, it is no longer cold. Owen and Gibson and I went outside to swing on the side porch yesterday and Owen said, "It is warm and cozy! Winter is gone!" 
"Not yet," I told him. "Not really."

But I can feel the dogwoods and the figs and azaleas and the everything gathering energy to put forth spring growth which is always a mistake in January. "Don't do it," I want to whisper to them. 

Guess what? I can't control when the sap of the dogwoods will begin to flow. Not one tiny bit. Nor can I control when the frost will come again to nip and gnaw and bite at tender buds. Not part of my assignment, you might say.
Not my job.

Part of the problem of my life has been trying to figure out what my job is, exactly, and to do that, and also and perhaps more importantly, what is NOT my job, no matter what I was told or led to believe. I think I have spent a great deal of my life beating my head bloody trying to do that which really never was mine to do. And would be impossible, even if it were. 

Here is a quote from J.R.R. Tolkien which I think of often:

“It is not our part to master all the tides of the world, but to do what is in us for the succour of those years wherein we are set, uprooting the evil in the fields that we know, so that those who live after may have clean earth to till. What weather they shall have is not ours to rule.” 
― J.R.R. TolkienThe Lord of the Rings

I pull weeds, I clean the chicken house, I plant the camellias, I have tended the babies. 
There really is not much more than that I am sure of which is mine to do. 

That is my meditation today. To do that which has been set before me as mine to do and to simply accept that which is presented to me which is not mine to do. 

I am going to go make the bed. Perhaps Owen and I shall make muffins today. If there is poop, I will clean it up. If I am presented with the pink perfection of the camellia, I will take note. These things are not so hard. Neither is loving the people I love. 

I shall do my best to do these things well and I will let the dogwoods' sap do what it will and I will not despair that I can not do more than what I can do. 

This seems so small. Well. So am I. 


  1. It is our job to tend the small lives within our reach. Period. And to love. I thought I saw some trees already budding out on the trip into the city this week. 'too early' I told them as we passed.

  2. Beautiful, wonderful post.
    Thank you for the Pink Perfection, the Tolkien quote and the perspective this morning. You have no idea how much your words help me figure out the chaos in my head.

    I wish I had some little people to snuggle lately, my gigantic teenagers are so complicated, and so fragile right now. If I didn't remember how awful my teen years were, I might not have the patience to love them harder through all this.

    I worry about the warm snaps just like you, I don't want the greenery to get fooled and frostbitten, but this spring I'll think of the Tolkien quote and let the world spin on its own.


  3. You really put everything in perspective here, Ms. Moon and quite eloquently I might add. I will think of your words when I cannot see what is important and become overwhelmed with trying to do more than I should expect of myself. And here in Colorado we are far from any early blooming but it is nice to think that spring is not too far away.

  4. This is beautiful. I'm taking this with me today as I do the things I do.

  5. I'm glad to realize that so much is not my job, beyond my control. I do what is within my little realm. That's enough.

  6. I love the Tolkien quote -- and I love that you are gathering your wits about you, tending your flock,etc. I will do the same over here, on the west coast, where it's getting very, very cold!

  7. The loveliest of posts today, Mrs. Moon. I will abide by those words. Or at least try.

  8. What everyone else said. Your words are balm.


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