“She knew who he was – the God of Loss, the God of Small Things. Of course she did.” Taken from the book ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy.
This weekend, my friend and I went to Epworth, which is an area just outside Harare famous for its scenery of big bold balancing rocks. One of the rock formations used to even feature on all of Zimbabwe’s bank notes (many years ago), symbolising the then strength and security of the currency.
The main aim of our excursion was to get shots of the famous rocks, which we did. But as we made our way through the tall grass and dust paths, we were accosted by something I hadn’t really expected; a complete sense of serenity. Being the only people within a radius of at least a kilometre, we were overcome by the silence, only interjected by the melodic tweets of the birds hovering overhead.
Being city girls, we always have to contend with the blaring traffic and noises of busyness that the sounds of silence – when we have the opportunity to experience them – are profound. I turned to my friend momentarily and said to her, “I feel God.” She turned back and nodded in agreement.
In feeling this sense of God, I realised that the big balancing rocks were not the only manifestations of strength that could be witnessed at Epworth. Just like the city busyness can become commonplace and unspectacular, so can big rocks!
And that’s when I took a step back and asked myself, “What else about this place makes it beautiful?”
Ah, and there was so much! While I had been moving through the tall grass looking for perfect angles to take pictures of the imposing rocks from, I’d neglected to think of the ‘small’ things happening in the grass as particularly spectacular, or worthy of capturing.
But after I’d pricked my senses and opened up my mind to the idea of God all around; God in the big things, and God also in the small things; I found the hidden treasures that I had been neglecting.
The tiniest of wild mushrooms were growing quietly amid the tall lashes of grass, so tiny they were that a child’s thumb could have crushed them. Wild flowers that I’ve never seen before were making their presence known to the grasslands. And other foliage told the story of recent rain as droplets clung like memories to different parts of it.
I was in awe.
And what I realised was that sometimes, when you take a step back from the bigger picture, you get to enjoy the smaller things more. Getting out of the hustle and bustle of Harare to take pictures of the tiniest pieces of existence did more for my happiness than a loud party or trip to some busy and overcrowded place ever would have.
It’s not always easy, or possible, to do. But I try to live by that mantra: to see the small things in the big things, and vice versa, and enjoy the experience as much as the big things we pursue with such passion.
Today, what ‘small’ thing can you focus on that will help you take more pleasure in the bigger things? Being able to see, talk, walk; to be able to live without physical pain or hunger? While these may seem like small things, they should never ever be taken for granted. God dwells in these things – the ‘small’ things that help you do big things.