The Small Stuff

September 06, 2021




Recently there has been an advert on TV I cannot remember who it was for, but they said to look for and enjoy the small stuff. It is those bits you will remember. The big bits will come but the small bits are where it is at.


I love the dawn. The gradual eruption of light cascading across the landscape. The colours and the different hues of those colours make for a spectacular show every time I witness it. But how many turn around away from the big thing to look at the small things. The way the warm light touches the trees. The long shadows being caused by little humps of grass and undulations in the meadow. The way the mist rolls and catches the light giving a mini light show of rainbows. The dewdrops on the plants that reflect the warm light bursting into a dazzling array of light and colour.


Listen to the soft rush of wind in the willow trees as the wind catches the leaves, or the humming wing beats as geese and swans sort of crash land, with a great plume of spray, into the water. Small sights and sounds that enhance the moment. You have probably seen them a dozen times and now they just pass by.

Flying Swans

Let’s pull this apart. Swans can fly, that in itself, should be a marvellous spectacle to see. This huge bird takes off and lands in the water. The take of is superb to see the slapping of its feet on the water the wings beating and ponderously it rises into the air with a cacophony of noise and water. The thrumming of the wing beats as they try to get purchase. The landing is equally as brilliant the wings hold still the feet extend and the sawn sort of skids onto the water for several meters throwing up droplets and leaving a wake. Then finally it settles down and has a sort of look what I’ve done expression on its face


They are part of the natural rhythm of the landscape. The sun rises, Light floods over everything in silence. The light changes subtly from a cold blue light to a warm glow. Birds erupt into song, they have seen this so many times yet most of us remain in bed and miss these moments both big and small and, I think our lives are much smaller for it.


I spend a lot of time next to the Great Ouse. I have seen it rise and fall almost daily. The sluice near me sometimes roars with the huge volume of water then fall to a soft trickle as that volume diminishes. However, have you ever just sat and watched the surface of the water. How it changes from one moment. Even when it seems to be totally still it is still moving imperceptibly and small fragments of debris are carried along. How a slight gust of wind catches the surface disturbing it with ripples.

The small moments that pass us all by. Are we too occupied with work, phones and all the other daily traps that stop us from really seeing what is there in full detail not just skimming over the top waiting for the big thing that takes our breath away when it happens every moment if we just open ourselves up to it?

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