The Small Things

leaves.jpg
leaves, Canon Digital Rebel

The way she looked at me last night, eyes fixed one mine, and said, “I think I need to slow down,” and then took a long, deep breath. And how uncomfortable I felt, holding her gaze like that, and how I wanted to look away but didn’t.

Or the way Matt called me over when I announced during the movie that I should be going to bed. And he said so sweetly, “But you could just lay here and fall asleep on me,” and pointed to his chest.

Small things.

The way my mom motioned for me at the end of the baby shower last weekend. The baby shower for my sister, hosted by me at my house, the one I was nervous about for months. The one I was afraid to throw, afraid I would be jealous or cry or wouldn’t be able to celebrate her in the way that I wanted to, and how ashamed I felt for that. The way my mom called me over to her at the end {the party was truly wonderful} and brought me into the empty hallway and whispered, “I’m so proud of you.”

Small things.

The way my friend Michael, (who is developmentally disabled) leaps out of his seat and sprints over to me shouting ANDREA! When I arrive in his class.

Or the other day, when my friend’s 2-year-old brought me a tiny daisy he had picked on the way to my house, and how he giggled when I put it in my mouth and tried to kiss him.

More small things.

The way the grass touches the sky up on Bernal Hill.

The impossible smell of jasmine in the evening.

The shout Matt let out when he jumped off the rope swing and dropped into the cold lake.

The almost imperceptible squeeze of a hand, the hand of a stranger at Glide, when we are singing a group song and it’s time to let go.

Green tea instead of coffee.

Bubbly water instead of wine.

Cooked fish instead of raw.

Small things really.

Or that story I heard the other day, the one about the man who threaded big colorful maple leaves with fishing line and attached them to the ceiling so it looked like leaves were falling all around her room?

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Hi, I’m Andrea

On this blog you’ll be learning with me how to use our voices, share our creative superpowers and live life in full color.

As an artist, photographer, life coach + mentor, I’m redefining what it means to be a SUPERHERO — ‘cause in my world, it’s got nothing to do with capes, spandex or sidekicks and everything to do with tenderness, intuition & baby steps of bravery.

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35 Comments

  1. ali

    The most wonderful things in the world for sure…happy Monday Andrea

  2. Darcie

    That’s where I most frequently glimpse God–in the small stuff. But only if I really pay attention. More often than not, I’m not paying attention. Thanks for sharing your Small Things, Andrea!

  3. Cindy

    Seems like those things aren’t so small after all!

  4. Chrisitne

    Andrea…
    I have been visiting for sometime…your photos are inspiring…your words provoking, uplifting and today more special than before….thank you.

  5. Lu

    Those are lovely. And you are brave and a true sister for throwing the baby shower even in the face of doubts.

  6. maureen

    Andrea,
    I give you so much credit for hosting that shower. I struggle w/ it daily…others who are getting what I want. I know the feelings of jealousy, crying about it. You are a great person. It will all come to you.
    Maureen

  7. Pamela

    At 42 I thought I was over all those feelings, the pensive yearning, the loss of breath whenever I heard that a friend or relative was newly expecting.
    But yesterday I got word that my 45 year old cousin and his wife were expecting and it all came flooding back. And I called my mother and wept and told her that it was unfair, and who, who, who was going to love me best in the world? And ultimately I realized that it was me who had to love me best, and anyway, if I was a mom right now, I wouldn’t be writing, and finally getting my degrees, and creating and traveling.
    But, God, it is hard, and I empathize with you entirely, and applaud your brave support and shared joy with your sister.
    Next autumn I shall gather leaves and string them red, orange, yellow with fishing line all around my office! 🙂
    I really enjoy this site.

  8. Sonia

    Andrea, I am visiting your blog every day. What beautifuls words! And nice photos, too!

  9. joy madison

    God is in the details? Lovely imagery Lovely photo. Thanks for sharing!

  10. Sue

    While reading “The small things,” it made me think of what one might recall at the end of our time here. That ?life flashing before your eyes? scenario. Those are all the things that are most important, which doesn?t make them so small after all. I bet your sister will reflect back on the day you gave her and remember your smile and they way you looked at her with love.

  11. andrea

    yes, yes. magic is, indeed, found in the small things. it’s nice to be reminded of that every so often. thank you for that.
    the ‘small thing’ that that made me smile recently:
    my husband found the time to pluck a bloom from the backyard to leave for me- even though it was trash day (and he HATES trash day) and it was pouring down rain and he was late for work. he left it on the table next to my bed for me to randomly discover.

  12. stef

    beautiful – truly beautiful

  13. bellablue

    beautiful….

  14. james

    freckles are sexy too, such small little erotic things.

  15. Holly

    Thank you. I needed that reminder.

  16. blueskelton

    thats one of the coolest pics I have ever seen

  17. Talia

    Andrea you have a wonderful way of capturing small things and making them even more powerful.

  18. jack

    simply wonderful, andrea. the small things are what always count the most. you are one of my small things (yet oh so big).
    🙂

  19. David

    A wonderful reminder… and a wonderful way to start my day. Thanks Andrea!

  20. Brenda in Toronto

    And once again, you have me blubbering at work! Hand me a tissue, please:)

  21. Piper

    Yes! A couple of my favorite small things:
    Waking up on Saturday mornings with the sun streaming through my window and feeling my cat stretch and hearing her purr because she’s happy I’m awake.
    Hugs – the feeling of being held and holding the people I love best in the world. Nothing like them to make me feel good.

  22. Catharine

    So beautiful!
    Small thing that happened to me. I was sitting at a table in my favorite coffee shop in Salt Lake City writing in my journal, and I looked up to see a friend standing there with a purple pressed flower to give me. What a great addition to my journal!
    “There are 2 sorts of curiosity – the momentary and the permanent. The momentary is concerned with the odd appearance on the surface of things. The permanent is attracted by the amazing and consecutive life that flows beneath the surface of things.” -Robert Lynd

  23. amy

    mmm…the small things.
    watching my dog play all weekend at the lake and then sleep hard once we get home, getting a long handwritten letter in the mail, crawling into clean sheets, out of the blue – my three year old nephew saying to my sister ” Mommy, I NEED Aunt Amy now.” barefeet in grass, a wink from a stranger, telling a forever grumpy neighbor how beautiful his garden is and watching his face soften and smile, the stomach drop feeling on the descent of a roller coaster, the first shower after three days of camping, seeing your painting framed and hanging in a gallery, reading the Sunday paper and drinking the first cup of coffee with the boy you love….

  24. Angi B

    hmmmm. small things:
    the way my 8 year-old son takes my hand and gives me small kisses knowing that i had a long day at work
    when i open my email and it’s a friendly hello from someone whom i’ve never even met IRL – just through blogging
    reading a blog that touches your heart and soul
    thank you Andrea! love your journal entries.
    Angi B

  25. A friend

    I’m a student in high school and even in that cramped, fluorescent-lit world I can find small things to be grateful for:
    –The shimmering cotton-candy pink and apple green of the acidic and basic solutions in the chemistry lab.
    –The way phenolphthaleine indicator turns a stunning hydrangea pink in tap water…adding a bit of an acidic solution will make the color disappear as mysteriously as it came.
    –The color schemes in the friendship button bracelets that our SADD club sells (“To remind you that you always have a friend”) Mine is made of pastel pink, blue, and orange buttons and some incredibly stretchy material.
    –My chemistry teacher, on whom I have a slight crush (er, make that wild infatuation) patting my shoulder as he walks past.
    –Sitting in the literature section of the school library, munching on a turkey sandwich and some Cheez-its I’ve smuggled in, reading “The Prophet” and e.e. cumming’s poems:
    “i thank You God for most this amazing
    day:for the leaping greenly spirits of trees
    and a blue true dream of sky;and for everything which is natural which is infinite which is yes…
    now the ears of my ears awake and the
    eyes of my eyes are opened”
    –The bus I take after school was running late, so instead of having to walk a block from the spot where I usually get off, the driver pulled into my street and dropped me in front of my house to cut a few minutes off her route.
    –There is a small tree with purple leaves in my
    school’s courtyard. If you look up while walking under the tree, you can see sunlight filtered through purples, greens, yellows and reds.
    –My father wanted to buy a gift for a friend who likes to read and who also owns a terrier. So, he hauled the whole family around town one Saturday morning looking for, of all things, Scottish-terrier-shaped bookends. The town I live in is not exactly a bustling commercial center, so I thought he’d have to go online to find what he was looking for. Much to everyone’s suprise, he found them on a lonely back shelf at Hobby Lobby, good quality, on sale for a scant $8.00. Later, Dad kept looking at his find and shaking his head, amazed by it all. He later told me he wasn’t sure if such a thing even existed, but that the idea came to him in a dream.
    –Little piles of “leaflitter” gathering on curbsides, windowsills, and in my hair. Most of the litter consists of little pink and white flowers from flowering trees and little seed packets.
    –Redbud trees. If there’s no redbuds in California, then come out to the Midwest. They have garish red-purple leaves that give the whole landscape a Seussian feel.
    Well, that’s all I can think of for now…but I’m sure I’ll find more. I’d like to tell you that I read your blog every day, but I rarely post, until today.

  26. wn

    …the 4 consistent vitamines that lay in my breakfast plate…brought upstairs to me each morning by my partner erik
    …the extra bounce in my father’s step this past weekend when HE took ME to his gym…so proud
    …today….the fist day that I felt a warm Spring breeze hit my face when I exited the front doors of my office at 5pm tonight
    …the way my best friend Carmen’s 3-year old son gently leaned into my leg when ‘we’ took a digital picture of his older sister
    …having a *superhero* that regularly reminds me to be thankful, truthful and better in so many ways
    natalie

  27. julie Cannon

    I read your site often and every single time I seem to walk away with something that sticks with me. thanks.

  28. jenlemen

    thank you for the part about the shower especially–that made me cry.

  29. Andrea

    How peaceful. The small things you shared made me feel the peace in my heart. The peace in the world. The peace in life. The peace that comes directly from God. Thank you.
    You are a wonderul person, so full of love, even when you’re complex and feeling complicated things. The important thing to remember is that love always comes through, even in those other times. Take comfort in that.

  30. Julia

    Thank you for these wonderful, wise words. Your thoughts and words gave me permission to stop & celibrate the simple joys that make up what life really is. Watching my little girl sleep, playing with our puppy, watching clouds blow by from my back porch, the glow from the fireplace, getting an unexpected phone call from an old friend/lover all “kodak” moments forever etched on my heart….:)

  31. Joy

    Andrea::::::
    One of my dependable ‘small things’ is visiting your blog, and I’m always enlivened by your beautiful words and photography.

  32. Laura

    -the way my husband woke up while I was getting ready for work and watched me put my bra on before telling me he was awake with a smile.
    -the way my kitten’s voice trembles when he runs and meows at the same time, so that it’s sort of a “meOWeOWeOWeowww”
    -the way my cat, laying on my chest, decides she’s had enough of my reading, and suddenly will languidly stretch a paw under my book and onto my face.
    -the way my mom said she would help me clean my oven, and then just showed up with a can of oven cleaner and just did it.
    -the way my dad fell asleep on my couch while we were all watching a movie.
    Thanks again, Andrea. (I’m proud of you too)

  33. Gunnella :-)

    😀 Reading words of appreciation like these 😀

  34. Amanda

    Your photographs inspire me to start painting again, they take my breath away!!

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