“It’s the little things that drive you crazy,” someone said to me recently.

It’s not.

It’s the little things that make you sane —  pats, pets, pills, lunch.

Today a friend of mine hugged me, my cat snoozed on my lap, I took my allergy medication (helps with the cat), I ate Fage Greek Yogurt with Mango Guanabanaso on it. Yum! The yogurt was so creamy, white and thick. When I turned the spoon upside down to coat my tongue with it, the yogurt stuck on the spoon — a Greekish, flavorish, ambrosish, mangoish, tartish, no-fat wow!

Is it not in the creamy white stuff of life, everyday’s manna, that we find reason to celebrate? Is it not in the small bits and bites of sustenance, the caloric fragments of our globe, that we are all reminded of the good that’s present here and become thankful?

A friend of mine is dying today. She’s twenty-nine. I’ve known her for a good twenty of those years. I sat with her and her mom today. We cried and laughed, hugged. Then, I went on with my day. I’m sad, it’s so broken, but life, tragic life, is still beautiful to me.

For it is in the tiny, everyday particles, the oxygen I breathe, the healthy yogurt fed bacteria in my body, the mot juste on my good friends lips —  in these that I live. I drift and anchor and float again in the micro-flotsam and mini-jetsam of life and death, and it is there that my tragic thankfulness is renewed.

We all tend to make a big deal out of big things —  the big wedding, the big pay check, the big career, big hair, big celebrities, the big life, big SUV’s, Las Vegas.

But all the big things are formed from small things, from particles, pieces, specks and micro specks. From the whale to the nit, our lives are made up like our beds, small stuff from the divine – fermions, hadrons and bosons, quarks and antiquarks.

Today I drove my daughter and her friend Steve home from the movies. Steve can’t talk, disabled from birth that way. But Steve can growl, and smile and pound my arm affectionately. So I growled at him, and he growled back, and he pounded me until I had to make the sign for “soft.”  It was good. It was some of the best communication I’ve had today — primitive, guttural, bits of phonemes, monosyllabic nonsense, cogent.  We yelled “no” to each other and laughed hilariously because we didn’t know why we were yelling “no,”  and thus it was all good, the no and yes and super-no. Steve and I hold to simple truth  — we like each other, and we talk, mostly without words.

It is in just this kind of broken, fragmented, providential reality, in the scraps, scintillas, shreds, shards and slivers which make up both life and death that we really begin to see things as they are; it is in the harboring and honoring of detail, irrational, rational, dark detail and bright detail, that we eventually have the sanity to say, “I am so thankful for such beautiful life.”

We can yell “no” all we want, and the big stuff that we don’t want to happen will still happen. But that isn’t all there is to it.

Threads, cusps, gobs, dabs, drops, edges, spots, shavings, spoonfuls —  look, don’t miss it, there, now, all around us spins the breath-taking, life-making, lift-you-up and knock-you-out-again gorgeousness of our lives.

“There now,” we sometimes say to our babies to calm them from upset.

“There, now,” I say to myself today, soothed by all the good God-given small stuff swirling ’round  my head.

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