You notice the little things only after the big things have stopped their clamouring for your heart. The way the footpath is made of little white gravel and lined at the edges with blocks of stone separating the street from the path. The way the seat in the waiting room had collapsed with the weight of a thousand people’s worries before you. Perch on the edge because you can’t seem relaxed or placid now. You are on the cusp of celebration or loss. Chemotherapy, Physical therapy and the way tears leave an imprint you can feel. You wonder as you leave each evening whether people can tell that you’ve been crying. Hopefully not. Hopefully so and they will hold you in their arms, their thoughts, their prayers.
Seeing the wearied skin of their hands, the thinning hair, the trace of orange in their eyes tells you that time was not an illusion. You went from feeling like a perpetual child to a wearied adult in the span of a phone call, or a conversation with a specialist, test results, statistics, blood pressure cuff and sheets knotted under a mattress. You see the sides of the hospital bed can rise – metal bars, but who is imprisoned? One way or the other they will be freed, either to walk back into your life, or out of this world, leaving you waiting for the day when the kisses will flow, when you can be swept up in a loving embrace, feel life surging between you the way it always had before.
You are on the cusp of a new world – who said that a circle has no beginning and no end? Had they never seen a bed turned to a cot, a child wiping the dribbled food tenderly from a parents chin? Had they never seen a young woman tenderly lift the worn down mountain that was her father as though he weighed no more than a book? A man holding his mothers hands to prevent her tearing out the canal and breathing tubes as she arose from the stupor of an aneurism averted by the knife and saw?
You are here now, having witnessed the close of the circle as another was opened, and so shall it continue. Your life is not your own, but something you share, the way the pebbles in the creek share the mountain water, the way the leaves of all the trees share the wind. You will feel the clamouring of the pain of their leaving for some time yet, until slowly the beauty and solace of the little things will take charge of your heart and your memories.